Top 25 Most Haunted Historic Hotels of America

Jekyll Island Club Resort, Jekyll Island, Georgia, is among this year’s Historic Hotels of America Top 25 Most Haunted Hotels © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WASHINGTON, DC—Halloween 2019 – Just in time for Halloween 2019, Historic Hotels of America has released its list of Most Haunted Historic Hotels. A membership organization of more than 300 hotels with long and storied histories, some hotels have reported ghosts and paranormal activity throughout the halls and in guestrooms giving those who stay a fright – and they don’t just come out at Halloween. From ghosts who have been around since the Revolutionary War to jilted lovers, heartbroken, there are an abundance of ghostly sightings in historic hotels.

Here is a listing of the Top 25 Most Haunted Hotels:

Concord’s Colonial Inn (1716) Concord, Massachusetts
The original part of the Inn was built in the early 1700s before the Revolutionary War. With such a long and robust history, it’s no wonder there are spirits that still wander the halls of this historic hotel. One of the most famous, haunted and sought-after guestrooms is room 24. During the Revolutionary War, the right side of the Inn was privately owned by Dr. Timothy Minot. When patriot soldiers were injured at the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the North Bridge, they were brought to his home to be cared for. Dr. Minot used what is now the Liberty Room as a hospital and room 24 as an operating room. Several soldiers who were operated on in room 24 died during surgery. They were then carried directly downstairs into room 27, which was used as a morgue. It’s no wonder then that guests have reported lights flickering in room 27 or turning on and off completely. One guest woke up in the middle of the night and every light was on in the room, including the television! Others have heard hushed whispers coming from the closet and have seen the door to the room slamming shut on its own.

The Red Lion Inn (1773) Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Ghostly rumors continue to swirl at the inn which has seen the likes of many paranormal investigators and mediums. The fourth floor, in particular, has been said to have the most activity. Both cleaning staff and guests have claimed to see a “ghostly young girl carrying flowers” and “a man in a top hat.” It has been said that guests have awoken to the feeling of someone standing over them at the foot of the bed. Cold spots, unexplained knocks, and electrical disturbances have all been reported. Guestroom 301 is also known to be a haunted hot spot. 

Omni Parker House, Boston (1855) Boston, Massachusetts
This hotel was opened by Harvey Parker and he was involved with the operations of the building until his death in 1884. Over the years, many guests have reported seeing him inquiring about their stay—a true “spirited” hotelier even after his death. 

The Sagamore (1883) Bolton Landing, New York
The Sagamore has its own American ghost story. Opened in 1883 as a playground resort for summer residents of Millionaire’s Row, this rambling historic hotel sits in a 6 million-acre state park and is rumored to accommodate a ghost or two. Stories persist of the ghost of a silver-haired woman wearing a blue polka-dot dress descending from the second floor to the Trillium, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. 

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The 1886 Crescent Hotel, well known today as being a mountaintop spa resort in the Arkansas Ozarks, was once used as a Cancer Curing Hospital which was under the control of the hospital’s owner, reported charlatan Norman Baker from Muscatine, Iowa.  Baker operated his Eureka Springs’ facility from 1937 until December 1940. There are many paranormal patrons with terrifying tales to tell. Among those are Michael, the Irish stonemason who, while constructing the building back in 1885, fell to his death in the footprint of what is now Room 218. He has thought to be a frequent visitor to the room since the day of his death. There’s also Theodora – a patient and helper during the days when the hotel was owned Norman Baker, resides in Room 419. Guests have reported that she will put bags in front of the door from the inside making it hard for guests to open their door upon their return. Dozens and dozens of ghost like encounters, and creepy, unexplained occurrences happen at this hotel on a regular basis.

Jekyll Island Club Resort (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia
Over the years, the Jekyll Island Club Resort has seen many families come and go since it opened in 1887. With all that time, comes the stories and mysteries, the staff, as well as guests have encountered firsthand. One such encounter involves the family of J.P. Morgan. Sans Souci, one of the buildings at the Jekyll Island Club Resort, is a handsome four-story structure erected in 1896 as one of the first condominiums to ever be built. It was built originally for families to use, including the family of J. Pierpont Morgan. His family rooms were located on the third floor, north end of the property facing the Jekyll River. He was particularly fond of the large porch which graced the front of his apartment allowing him a beautiful view of the river. Mr. Morgan was a lover of cigars. As the story goes, one could tell where he was by following the trail of smoke. In order to avoid criticisms for his favorite hobby, he would rise early every morning by 5 am to have a smoke on the porch. While most contemporary guests are not rising at such an early hour for a cigar, those who have stayed in the Morgan’s old apartment swear they have awakened to the faint smell of cigar smoke wafting about when there is absolutely no one else awake.

Union Station, Nashville, Tennessee is among this year’s Historic Hotels of America Top 25 Most Haunted Hotels © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Union Station Nashville, Autograph Collection (1900) Nashville, Tennessee
One of Nashville’s most iconic landmarks, Union Station Hotel resides in a building that previously served as the city’s buzzing railway station. Guests are reminded of the building’s rich history through another kind of encounter: with the hotel’s resident ghost, Abigail. Legend has it that during World War II a young woman, Abigail, said goodbye to her soldier on the Union Station train platform before he shipped off to France. When she arrived at that same spot to greet him on his return, she was instead met with word that he was killed in action. Distraught, Abigail threw herself in front of a passing locomotive. The forlorn spirit of Abigail, still looking for her lost love, can reportedly be seen wandering the main terminal and her presence felt in Room 711. Now known as the Abigail Room, guests can request to stay in the haunted suite, which is decorated unlike any other room in the hotel with antique furnishings, a four-poster bed and artwork inspired by her tale. 

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) Honolulu, Hawaii
On February 28, 1905, the untimely death of Jane Stanford, co-founder of Stanford University, made headlines everywhere. Stanford, who was vacationing in Hawaii following a strychnine poisoning attempt on her life, died in her room at the Moana. There have been reports that the ghost of Stanford still frequents the hotel, whose beautiful ocean vistas brought her short-lived peace. Guests and hotel staff have said that they’ve seen her walking at night trying to find her room. 
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods (1902) New Hampshire
Known affectionately by staff members as “the princess”, Caroline Foster, was a long-time inhabitant of the hotel. Princess Caroline Foster’s ties to the resort go back to its inception when her husband, railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, built the grand resort in 1902. Incorporating special accommodations for his wife, construction of the resort included an indoor swimming pool and a private dining room for Caroline known today as the “Princess Room.” A prominent figure at the resort since its opening, many guests who have visited continue to report sightings of the regal Caroline. Visions of an elegant woman in Victorian dress are often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, there are light taps on doors when no one is outside and items suddenly disappear and then reappear in the exact place they were lost. But perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in room 314, where guests report seeing a vision of the woman sitting at the edge of their bed. 

The Seelbach Hilton Louisville (1905) Louisville, Kentucky
Legend says two lovers were to be married at the hotel in 1907, but the groom met an untimely death on his way to the wedding. His distraught bride threw herself down the elevator shaft, falling ten stories to her death. The bride is said to continue to haunt the halls of this historic hotel. 

Mizpah Hotel (1907) Tonopah, Nevada
Built in 1907 and beautifully restored to its former grandeur and glory. The hotel is home to several ghostly figures. One of which is the former bellhops has been seen roaming the halls of the hotel trying to give guests a hand with their luggage. The town of Tonopah was well known for silver mining and just beneath the Mizpah are old mining tunnels. The hotel had a run-in with a few very greedy miners and lost out on a large sum of money. As legend is told, three miners dug a hole into the old bank safe and robbed the hotel. One of the men turned his back on his two accomplices and shot them. He left them for dead and took off with the money and was never been caught. To this day, those two miners still lurk in the basement of the Hotel.

The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, North Carolina
There is a strange, but gentle spirit residing within the gray, granite walls of Asheville’s historic Grove Park Inn. Known simply as the “Pink Lady”, she has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for nearly a century. Although the Pink Lady is believed to have met her demise on the Palm Court floor after falling two stories from the fifth floor to the third floor, she has been seen and experienced in a number of places throughout the resort. The Pink Lady has been described as a dense pinkish smoke with a presence that can be felt by guests throughout the grounds of the Inn.

La Fonda (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico
Shot to death in 1867 in the hotel lobby, John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, is said to have never left. Meanwhile, a distraught salesman, who jumped into the hotel well after losing a card game, has been seen emerging from the fountain by visitors and guests alike. 

The Emily Morgan San Antonio- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (1924) San Antonio, Texas
The Emily Morgan is known to be one of the most haunted hotels in all of Texas. According to various reports, even some given by the hotel’s own management team, the most haunted floors are the seventh, ninth and fourteenth floors in addition to the basement.
It was these particular floors that at one time functioned as the psychiatric ward, surgery level, waiting area and morgue, respectively. At the Emily Morgan, almost all of the paranormal reports involve ghosts and spirits from days gone by when the building was the medical building.
Guests have reported strange things occurring on these particular levels. Those staying on the fourteenth level of the Emily Morgan generally have one thing to say: that the smell is acutely reminiscent of a hospital. Guests have reported to opening the doors to the hallways only to find a scene from a hospital waiting right inside.

Francis Marion Hotel (1924) Charleston, South Carolina
In the early 1930s, New Yorker Ned Cohen was visiting his Southern lady friend in Charleston. Whatever happened was never clear, but he was found face down, body smashed in the middle of King Street facing toward the old Citadel’s parade grounds. Today, visitors hear eerie and unexplained sounds at night, all too familiar to the bell staff and room attendants walking the halls. Sounds of rustling silk drapes, rattling windows, and an unexplained vision of a man questioning either himself or the witness. Some see the ghost in short sleeves, others just feel his presence throughout the hotel. 

Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, Massachusetts
The city of Salem is notorious for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and is prone to hauntings and spirits of its own. The hotel has ghost stories, mostly attributed to the sea captains who were returning to their gathering place. In particular, guests staying in rooms 612 and 325 have reported of lights turning off and on and experiencing a general uneasy feeling throughout the rooms. 

Hotel Viking (1926) Newport, Rhode Island
Hotel Viking has had many guests and staff members come and go, reporting stories of spirited guests. The story that has been reported repeatedly is of a little boy is often seen cleaning the floors of the historic wing of the hotel. There have been about 10 different guests regaling a similar story of a young boy cleaning. This has also been confirmed by most of the housekeeping staff. 

Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton (1927) Saranac, New York
This historic hotel was built on foundation of a former High School. It is the only hotel building remaining of 13 luxury hotels that once served this community. While fires led to the downfall of some of the area’s hotels, survived by design: made of steel and brick, Hotel Saranac was the area’s first fireproof hotel. The hotel had a civil defense tower on top, where it is said that Boy Scouts would wait to watch for Russian Bombers. Room 308 – Emily Balsam, was a guest at Hotel Saranac and worked at a local college. She had a cat. The story is told that she was not feeling well for a while and got tired of people checking on her and just wanted to be left alone. She had her phone disconnected and stopped all housekeeping.  She did not want to be disturbed for any reason. No one saw much of her after that. At some point the guest and staff started to complain about the smell coming from that room and the cat always “crying” and Emily refused to answer the door. The manager at the time went up to talk to her and found she had been dead for weeks and the cat was still alive. The cat was taken to a shelter but it is said that the ghost of Emily’s cat can still be heard crying or scratching at the wall, perhaps wandering the hotel looking for her.  

Hotel Monteleone (1886) New Orleans, Louisiana
A maid, known as “Mrs. Clean” reputedly haunts the hotel. Paranormal researchers once asked why she stayed, and the maid, whose mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother also worked at the hotel, said she was picking up after housekeeping to ensure high standards.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California
It is said that ghosts haunt where they were the happiest. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa welcomes guests past and present and tells the tales of guests who never wanted to leave. When the evenings are still and the fog rolls in from the Bay, a hauntingly beautiful woman has been seen strolling the hallways of the Inn in period dress. Victoria, as she is fondly referred to by many of the Inn’s tenured employees and whose family traces back to the founding fathers of Sonoma Valley, is said to have celebrated her wedding and many anniversaries at the resort.

Hassayampa Inn (1927) Prescott, Arizona
The year it opened, the Hassayampa Inn developed its most famous legend. A very young bride named Faith Summers checked into a balcony suite with her much older husband in 1927. According to the story, Faith’s husband went out to buy cigarettes and never returned. Faith waited for three days and then took her life in despair. Since then, countless hotel guests and employees have reported encounters with a young woman throughout the hotel crying at the end of a bed, dressed in a pink gown in the hallway, appearing and disappearing from rooms. One housekeeper saw a woman by a bed, holding flowers and crying. When asked if she needed help, the woman vanished. Kitchen staff have reported feeling Faith’s presence in the kitchen, right before the burners on the stove suddenly went out. Others have reported strange cold spots in Faith’s honeymoon suite. The heartbroken ghost appears unable to move on from her anguish. Many think that though Faith is heartbroken, she enjoys staying at the Hassayampa Inn.

The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida
Over the years there have been a number of reported “sightings” and strange occurrences at this historic hotel. Although there are various stories, the most common presence felt through the building is that of  Mr. Thomas Rowe, the man who brought the Don CeSar to life and is the focal point of the love story surrounding the hotel. It is rumored that people have reported seeing Mr. Rowe throughout the hotel, on the beach, and even interacting with guests and staff. In the evening it has been reported that from time to time guests have looked up to the windows on the fifth floor and see the figure of a man watching from above. 

Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) Baltimore, Maryland
Over the course of its more then 90-year history, the Lord Baltimore Hotel has had reports of paranormal activity. Built in 1928, the hotel was one of the tallest building in the city (the Great Fire of 1904 destroyed Downtown Baltimore) and around the time of the Great Depression, there were at least 20 documented reports of “jumpers” from the 19th floor rooftop deck. The most spoken about is that of a couple who attended an event at the hotel with their daughter – and then proceeded to jump off the building. Their daughter, “Molly,” is typically seen in the halls wearing a white dress and playing with a red ball. There has also been a lot of paranormal speculation around a handprint of a child on a wall in one of the hotel’s penthouses that won’t go away.

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC (1930) Washington, DC
During the Shoreham’s early years, three people died unexpectedly in suite 870. At that time the apartment was occupied by one of the hotel’s owners, Henry Doherty. Juliette Brown, the family’s housekeeper dropped dead mysteriously one night at 4 am. Doherty’s daughter and wife also perished mysteriously in the same suite. During its vacancy there were claims of mysterious noises, doors slamming shut and furniture moving—many of which happened around 4 am, the time of Juliette’s death. 

Tubac Golf Resort and Spa (1959) Tubac, Arizona
There have been hauntings throughout the resort that have been reported by guests by at least four unique ghosts including a boy, a lady in gray, a very active gentleman spirit, and a cowboy. Some of these spirits are believed to date back to the early age of the resort when it was the Otero Ranch. The haunts have been investigated by the Phoenix, Arizona Paranormal Society and featured on the “Haunted Series, Arizona.”
“The spirits reported to reside within these Historic Hotels of America have been described as sad to happy, shy to friendly, slowly meandering to in a rush, in work clothes to elaborately dressed, and range from young to old,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Some pre-date the construction of the hotel and others figure prominently from the early years of the historic hotels.”

For a complete listing of haunted historic hotels, visit https://www.historichotels.org/MostHaunted.php.

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotel members. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; have been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org

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Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust Extends Groundbreaking Auschwitz Exhibition in Response to High Demand

Artifacts and images from dozens of institutions and private collections from around the world are on view at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust’s groundbreaking exhibit, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away, including Mauthausen Memorial, Mauthausen, Austria, where the crematorium is no longer open to the public. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

– Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. exhibition will remain on view at the NYC museum through August 30, 2020, an eight-month extension from its originally scheduled close date –

– Exhibition features more than 700 objects and 400 photographs on display in North America for the first time, including a shofar that was secretly blown at Auschwitz and a collection of 10 original artifacts from the Anne Frank House –

New York, NY – Due to an overwhelming response, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust today announced that Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.the most comprehensive Holocaust exhibition about Auschwitz ever presented in North America, will be extended until August 30, 2020. Produced by the international exhibition firm Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, the groundbreaking exhibition is the largest ever on Auschwitz with more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs.

The extension responds to the record number of visitors the exhibition drew to the Museum since opening in May. To date, more than 106,000 people from across the country and globe have come to the Museum to see the exhibition, including more than 36,000 students to date and approximately 12,000 students scheduled to visit before the end of 2019.

“The number of adults and school visitors drawn to Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. has been incredible. This exhibition greets its visitors with a clear warning to be vigilant – to not allow this history to repeat and to never presume that it won’t,” notes Bruce C. Ratner, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “In recent years and recent months even, we have seen a surge in antisemitic rhetoric, hate crimes, and a weaponized nationalism both here in the United States and abroad. We are extending this exhibition at our Museum because it offers clear, moral lessons that resonate powerfully today and from which visitors want to learn.”

“It has been a great honor to preside over the Museum as it presents this astounding exhibition and to witness it move so many of our visitors as deeply as it has moved me,” says Jack Kliger, the Museum’s President & CEO. “Most remarkable, this exhibition is dynamic. Already large in scope, it continues to acquire new artifacts over the course of its life, such as the shofar clandestinely used in Auschwitz that we unveiled last month ahead of Rosh Hashanah.”

“We have been profoundly overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response in New York – not only by the numbers themselves, but especially by the time visitors spend in the exhibition – on average two hours – and the care, attention and respect they show for this story. Deciding to visit this exhibition is a courageous step. It means confronting oneself with a traumatic, complex and challenging past. And more importantly, it helps us understand more critically our own present,” says Luis Ferreiro, Director of Musealia and the exhibition project.

“I don’t think that there is a more important exhibition presented in New York at the moment. This one about Auschwitz explores the essence of mankind, analyzes the limits of what is human, and asks important questions about our contemporary responsibility. I am glad people will be able to see it there longer,” says Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. traces the development of Nazi ideology and tells the transformation of Auschwitz from an ordinary Polish town known as Oświęcim to the largest German Nazi concentration camp and the most significant site of the Holocaust —at which ca. 1 million Jews, and tens of thousands of others, were murdered. Victims included Polish political prisoners, Sinti and Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and those the Nazis deemed “homosexual,” “disabled,” “criminal,” “inferior,” or adversarial in countless other ways. The exhibition tells not only the story of their persecution and murder, but also the myriad ways ordinary people responded to the unfolding genocide, including inspiring stories of resistance, resilience, courage, and altruism. In addition, the exhibition contains artifacts that depict the world of the perpetrators—SS men who created and operated the largest of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps.

With more than 700 objects and 400 photographs, mainly from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the New York presentation of the exhibition allows visitors to experience artifacts from more than 20 international museums and institutions on view for the first time in North America, including hundreds of personal items—such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes—that belonged to survivors and victims of Auschwitz. Other artifacts include: concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp; part of an original barrack for prisoners from the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp; a desk and other possessions of the first and the longest-serving Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; a gas mask used by the SS; Picasso’s Lithograph of Prisoner; and an original German-made Model 2 freight train car of the type used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland. 

The exhibition also features 10 artifacts on loan from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which include the spilled, dried beans Anne wrote about in her diary and that were later discovered lodged between the cracks of stairs in the home where she hid from the German Nazis. The beans have never been displayed anywhere before. Most recently, the Museum announced the exhibition’s incorporation of a shofar (a ram’s horn that is made into a special wind instrument used during Jewish High Holiday services) that was hidden and clandestinely blown in the Auschwitz. The shofar was newly added to the exhibition on the cusp of the High Holy days and temporarily transported to two New York City synagogues to be blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage has incorporated into the exhibition nearly 100 rare artifacts from its collection that relay the experience of survivors and liberators who found refuge in the greater New York area. These artifacts include: Alfred Kantor’s sketchbook and portfolio that contain over 150 original paintings and drawings from Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Schwarzheide; the trumpet that musician Louis Bannet (acclaimed as “the Dutch Louis Armstrong”) credits for saving his life while he was imprisoned in Auschwitz; visas issued by Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania often referred to as “Japan’s Oskar Schindler”; prisoner registration forms and identification cards; personal correspondence; tickets for passage on the St. Louis; and a rescued Torah scroll from the Bornplatz Synagogue in Hamburg. 

Also on display from the Museum of Jewish Heritage collection is Heinrich Himmler’s SS helmet and his annotated copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as well as an anti-Jewish proclamation issued in 1551 by Ferdinand I that was given to Hermann Göring by German security chief Reinhard Heydrich on the occasion of Göring’s birthday. The proclamation required Jews to identify themselves with a “yellow ring” on their clothes. Heydrich noted that, 400 years later, the Nazis were completing Ferdinand’s work. These artifacts stand as evidence of a chapter of history that must never be forgotten.

Alongside Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., the Museum offers a series of talks, screenings, performances, and commemorative events that further explore Jewish history and life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The last week of October, artist and Holocaust survivor William Bernheim will discuss his history and artistic response, and author Marty Brounstein will present a program abouta Christian couple in the Netherlands who saved the lives of over two dozen Jews. November programming includes commemorative events for the 81stanniversary of Kristallnacht, including “Stories Survive: An Eyewitness Account of Kristallnacht” with Ruth Zimbler. In December, The Sorceress will be performed by the resident National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. To learn more about these and other activities, visit the Museum’s Events page here: https://mjhnyc.org/current-events/

Following the New York presentation, the exhibition is intended to tour other cities around the world. Future destinations will be announced by Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Curated by an international team of experts led by historian Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. first opened in New York City on May 8, 2019 after its successful run at Madrid’s Arte Canal Exhibition Centre, where it was extended two times, drew more than 600,000 visitors, and was one of the most visited exhibitions in Europe last year. The exhibition explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.

Museum of Jewish Heritage Board Vice Chairman George Klein visited the exhibition in Spain and recommended to his Board that they bring it to Lower Manhattan.The exhibition features artifacts and materials on loan from more than 20 institutions and private collections around the world. In addition to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, participating institutions include Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, and the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London. 

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far awaywas conceived of by Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and curated by an international panel of experts, including world-renowned scholars Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Dr. Michael Berenbaum, and Paul Salmons, in an unprecedented collaboration with historians and curators at the Research Center at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, led by Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz.

“When we, the Musealia curatorial team set out to design the Auschwitz exhibition, we realized that we faced a difficult problem. In Auschwitz over a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered shortly after their arrival or suffered and died in unimaginable circumstances. How does one create an exhibition about such a dark chapter in human history that, in our understanding, is not long ago and happened in a place not far away? How does one make the public, that has so many opportunities to explore a great city like New York, decide that it would want to see such an exhibition? Our tools were straightforward: a narrative told through more than 700 original artifacts, 400 original images, 100 stories, made present by means of filmed testimonies and quotes – all revealing individual experiences of a history we must learn from,” says Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Chief Curator.

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. is presented in the symbolic, hexagonally-shaped core building at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This 18,000-square-foot exhibition introduces artifacts and Holocaust survivor testimony through 20 thematic galleries. 

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible with lead support by Bruce C. Ratner, George and Adele Klein Family Foundation, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, and Larry and Klara Silverstein & Family. The exhibition is presented in part with major support by The David Berg Foundation, Patti Askwith Kenner, The Oster Family Foundation, and The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. The New York premiere is made possible in part by Simon & Stefany Bergson with additional support from The Knapp Family Foundation.

GENERAL INFORMATION

TICKETS

Entry is by timed ticket available at Auschwitz.nyc. Audio guide (available in 8 languages) is included with admission.

$25 Flexible Entry—entry any time on a specific day

$16 Adults

$12 Seniors and People with Disabilities

$10 Students and Veterans

$8 Museum Members

FREE for Holocaust survivors, active members of the military and first responders, and students and teachers through grade 12 in schools located in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (with valid school-issued ID). 

For group visits, contact the Museum at 646.437.4304 or groupvisits@mjhnyc.org. See Auschwitz.nyc for more information.

HOURS AS OF NOVEMBER 1, 2019:

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday          10 AM to 6 PM            
Wednesday                                                     10 AM to 9 PM

Friday                                                              10 AM to 3 PM            

Last admission to Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far awayis 2 hours before closing time. Last entrance to the rest of the Museum is 30 minutes prior to closing time.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Since 1997, the Museum of Jewish Heritage has welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors; it maintains a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. 

The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. 

The Museum is closed on Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving. 

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, New York City, 646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

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Lonely Planet Reveals Best Travel Destinations for 2020

Budapest, Hungary is one of Lonely Planet’s “best value” cities for 2020 © Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Global travel authority Lonely Planet unveiled its top 10 countries, cities, regions and best-value destinations for next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020.

Best in Travel 2020 is Lonely Planet’s 15th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and journeys for the year ahead. This edition places particular emphasis on the best sustainable travel experiences for 2020 — ensuring travelers will have a positive impact wherever they choose to go.

Bhutan — the kingdom set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020 — claims the coveted spot as the number-one country to visit in 2020, while England places second and North Macedonia takes third.

Lonely Planet’s number-one region for 2020 is the Central Asian Silk Road, which is now more accessible than ever before, thanks to visa improvements for the majority of the world’s citizens, along with massive transportation and infrastructure investment. Le Marche, Italy comes in second, followed by Tōhoku, Japan.

Number-one city Salzburg, Austria will be pulling out all the stops for the centenary of its world-famous festival of music and drama next year, while Washington, DC, USA is second-ranked, with Cairo, Egypt in third place.

Elsewhere, Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara, Hungary’s Budapest and India’s Madhya Pradesh are Lonely Planet’s top three best-value destinations for 2020.

Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by our panel of travel experts to just 10 countries, 10 regions, 10 cities and 10 best value destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences and ‘wow’ factor.

For Best in Travel 2020, Lonely Planet’s experts have also selected the best New Openings, New Places to Stay, New Food Experiences, and Sustainable Trips for Families, as well as devoting an entire chapter to the best ways to Travel Well.

www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel features tips and videos on visiting each destination, as well as a chance to win a Silk Road adventure for two. The top 10 cities can also be explored for free with Lonely Planet’s Guides app.

Top 10 Countries

1. Bhutan

2. England

3 North Macedonia

4. Aruba

5. eSwatini

6. Costa Rica

7. The Netherlands

8. Liberia

9. Morocco

10. Uruguay

Top 10 Regions

1. Central Asian Silk Road 

2. Le Marche, Italy

3. Tōhoku, Japan

4. Maine, USA

5. Lord Howe Island, Australia

6. Guizhou Province, China

7. Cadiz Province, Spain

8. Northeast Argentina

9. Kvarner Gulf, Croatia

10. Brazilian Amazon

Top 10 Cities

1. Salzburg, Austria

2. Washington, DC, USA

3. Cairo, Egypt

4. Galway, Ireland

5. Bonn, Germany

6. La Paz, Bolivia

7. Kochi, India

8. Vancouver, Canada

9. Dubai, UAE

10. Denver, USA

Top 10 Best Value

1. East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

2. Budapest, Hungary

3. Madhya Pradesh, India

4. Buffalo, USA

5. Azerbaijan

6. Serbia

7. Tunisia

8. Cape Winelands, South Africa

9. Athens, Greece

10. Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Travel Edit

  • Best New Openings
  • Best New Places to Stay
  • Best New Food Experiences
  • Best Sustainable Trips for Families

Travel Well

  • Should We All Be Flying Less?
  • Traveling on a Carbon Diet
  • Going Local, for the Locals 
  • Taking Action on the Road 
  • Lessons from Indigenous Cultures
  • Hiking for Meditation

Competition: To celebrate this year’s Best in Travel, Lonely Planet is partnering with G Adventures and TourRadar to give visitors to lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel the chance to win a Silk Road adventure for two through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The prize includes: 

> a 15-day Best of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Tour from Dushanbe to Tashkent;

> a AUD $4,000 (approximately USD $2,700) travel voucher to put towards two return economy flights;

> up to AUD $500 (approximately USD $340) towards offsetting the carbon footprint of the winners’ flights;

> two copies of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020.

To enter, simply tell us in 255 characters or less why you’d love to experience the Central Asian Silk Road.

Lonely Planet is a world-leading travel publisher: a globe-spanning digital travel media company and the world’s number one travel guidebook brand. We’ve been providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveler since 1973. We reach hundreds of millions of travelers each year online and via our mobile products and help them unlock amazing experiences. Over the past 40 years we’ve printed over 145 million guidebooks as well as countless other titles showcasing the wonders of the world for travelers of all types. Lonely Planet can be found on lonelyplanet.com, mobile, video and in 14 languages, 13 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks and more.

“At Lonely Planet we seek to make a difference in people’s lives by spreading the power of travel. We firmly believe that travel has a significant positive impact on people’s lives and outlooks and is a force of positive change.”

Visit lonelyplanet.com and join 14 million followers on Facebook (facebook.com/lonelyplanet), Twitter (@lonelyplanet), Instagram (instagram.com/lonelyplanet) and Snapchat (@lonely.planet).

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The 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report of Top Experiential Travel Trends: ‘Carpe Diem,’ Croatia, Antarctica, Greece

Arriving at the end of a self-guided bike tour in Porec, Croatia. Croatia ranks as the top Emerging Destination and one of the top Global Destinations and Destinations for Millennials in Virtuoso’s luxe travel trends 2020 survey. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK – Travelers in 2020 are seizing the day and prioritizing trips now, powered by the belief that customized experiences are the best investment of their money and time, according to the latest Virtuoso® Luxe Report. Global luxury travel network Virtuoso annually surveys its industry-leading travel agency members and their advisor sales force across 50 countries to predict what lies ahead in the coming year. The Luxe Report, which has earned Virtuoso its reputation as a respected trend forecaster, reveals consumer inclinations in high-end and experiential travel.

“Carpe diem” travel is fueling the desire to savor as many new destinations and exciting experiences as possible in more authentic ways. While travelers still want to journey in comfort, the new definition of luxury is personalized adventures shared with family and friends. Both trends led to Virtuoso’s introduction earlier this year of Wanderlist®, a revolutionary approach to planning trips to ensure travelers maximize opportunities now and in the future.

The Luxe Report unearthed six trends highlighting how upscale globetrotters continue to assert their influence in the travel-sphere for 2020.

1.       Untouristed and Unexpected: With some favorite destinations seeing an untenable rise in demand, the well-traveled luxury set is seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds at over-touristed locales. Virtuoso advisors report a rise in requests for places ranging from the culturally distinct to those steeped in nature, including Borneo, Greenland and Oman.

2.       Country Coupling: Travelers are heeding the advice of well-informed Virtuoso advisors, who encourage clients to explore multiple countries, even during shorter journeys. Trips that mix locales are trending, especially ones with surprising combinations. Travelers may pair a ski adventure with a beach finale, or a city stay with a jungle adventure, or a well-traveled place followed by a little-known spot to mingle with locals. The focus is on varied experiences that enrich the trip with each stop.

3.       Tasty Travels: Culinary travel has transcended “trend” to become its own niche, with amazing food and drink now considered essential to any trip. Cooking classes, eating in private homes, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm-to-table visits, truffle hunting – culinary experiences are as varied as travelers themselves, and allow foodies to go beyond a seat at the table. Dining has become such a focus that some travelers are requesting restaurant reservations at the same time they book their flights – sometimes even before.

4.       Group Getaways: Travel unites those who share common interests, and Virtuoso advisors say clients want to connect with like-minded people. Gen X-ers, Boomers and even Matures are traveling to bond with friends and others who share their passions or are at the same life stage. Women’s travel is on the rise as well, including soft adventure trips and affluent girl getaways to unplug, relax and play. Groups of couples are also traveling together, including buddymoons, where newlyweds bring pals along for the fun.

5.       EQ Encounters: Today’s traveler is seeking more profound experiences leading to increased emotional intelligence. Pushing beyond their comfort zone combined with genuine interaction among locals provides travelers with a deeper appreciation for the people and cultures they encounter. Foregoing the usual attractions, Virtuoso clients are instead opting to tap into their passions, such as a tasting with the owner of a local winery, a motorcycle tour or a personal shopper to guide them through the latest pop-up stores. They also want accommodations that reflect the destination – inns full of character, small neighborhood hotels and private homes.

6.       Enjoying the Journey: Embracing the philosophy that the journey is half the fun, upscale voyagers are using exclusive services including meet-and-greets planeside to avoid the stress of changing terminals, locating gates or waiting in customs lines. The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport offers a members-only terminal where travelers are escorted through TSA screenings, driven to and from aircraft in BMWs and provided a room to relax in between flights.

In keeping with the “live for today” motivation, celebrating a milestone is the top factor inspiring travel in 2020 – a first for the Luxe Report. Multigenerational travel maintains its stronghold as the top trend of the year, with authenticity vaulting into second place from ninth in 2019 and cruising sailing out of the top five.

Italy continues its reign as the global favorite, as well as the top spot for solo travelers, while slipping to second place in the honeymoon and family travel categories. Croatia heads the list of emerging destinations, attracting buzz due to the Game-of-Thrones effect as well as its rich history and convenience to other major European hubs. Antarctica, poised for a big year, takes the top spot for adventure travel from longtime favorite South Africa (now in fourth place) and ranks number two as an emerging destination. And Greece catapulted into the top five for three categories, including the top spot for Millennials as well as second on the global destinations list and a third place for honeymoons.

Key findings from the 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report:

Top Travel Trends                                                                Top Emerging Destinations

1. Multigenerational travel                                                       1. Croatia

2. Authenticity                                                                         2. Antarctica 

3. Active or adventure trips                                                     3. Iceland

4. Family travel (immediate family)                                          4. Japan

5. Celebration travel                                                                5. Portugal

Top Global Destinations                                                      Top Adventure Destinations

1. Italy                                                                                     1. Antarctica

2. Greece                                                                                 2. Alaska 

3. France                                                                                  3. Galapagos Islands 

4. Japan                                                                                    4. South Africa

5. Croatia                                                                                 5. Iceland

Top Millennial Destinations                                                Top Cities

1. Greece                                                                                 1. Paris

2. Bali                                                                                      2. Barcelona

3. Croatia                                                                                 3. Florence

4. Iceland                                                                                 4. Rome

5. Cambodia                                                                            5. London

Top Family Travel Destinations                                         Top Honeymoon Destinations

1. Hawaii                                                                                 1. French Polynesia

2. Italy                                                                                     2. Italy

3. Orlando                                                                               3. Greece

4. Costa Rica                                                                           4. Bali  

5. England                                                                               5. Maldives  

Top Solo Travel Destinations                                              Top Travel Motivations

1. Italy                                                                                     1. Celebrating a milestone

2. England                                                                               2. Excitement of discovering new destinations

3. U.S.                                                                                      3. Spending time with loved ones

4. France                                                                                  4. Rest and relaxation

5. Spain                                                                                    5. Crossing off Wanderlist® items

A total of 1,300 travel advisors from Virtuoso-affiliated agencies in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East took the Luxe Report survey, drawing on their extensive knowledge, professional experience and client requests to offer insight into 2020’s top trends.

Virtuoso® is a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

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Wildland Adventures: 6 Tips to Responsibly Travel to Cherished Destinations Being Loved to Death

Venice is one of the world’s cherished places being loved to death by tourists. Rather than being part of the problem of overcrowding in Venice, Wildland Adventures recommends, take the ferry to the small fishing town of Rovinj, where you are welcomed by locals who take you around in a traditional Batana fishing boat. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SEATTLE, WA – Certain places on our planet are getting loved to death. Why and what should responsible travelers do about it? 
 
Not long ago, international travel was the purview of the rich and worldly. Today, however, the middle class enthusiastically travels the globe with bucket lists that concentrate attention on the most popular places in the world (and rightly so). Unfortunately, the byproduct of this increase in travel means that If the original character of these places is not in jeopardy now, it soon will be.
 
Kurt Kutay is founder and president of Wildland Adventures, a travel company that for over 30 years has created opportunities for guests to experience destinations from the inside out. Utilizing the Wild Style of travel, Wildland trips build lasting intercultural, interpersonal and environmental bonds. By impressing sincerity, compassion and understanding at each step of the journey, the aim is to enhance rather than exploit the place and people we’ve come to visit. To this end, Kurt offers 6 Ways to Travel Responsibly in an Age of Over-Tourism.
 
1. Manage Your Expectations and Emotions
As with much of life, aligning expectations with reality is half of the road to happiness. Planning travel is no different in this regard, as you anticipate what you will experience. If we allow preconceived notions of the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu – without crowds — drive our desire to travel halfway around the world to experience these iconic destinations first hand, we may indeed leave disappointed.
 
The proper research will help you to align expectations with reality. Ask many questions, but ask the right questions and don’t be afraid of the answers. Most importantly, stay open to the experience before you. It is unknown what lies ahead and that is the magic of travel. Be diligent in letting go of preconceived expectations, they are persistent. Refuse to let them as well as annoyances like crowds distract you from what drew you there in the first place. That’s when the true joy of discovery flows — no matter what it looks like.
 
2. Find a Local Connection
Hire a passionate, local guide help to deepen the travel experience while avoiding the ‘group think’ impact of large tour groups. A good local guide can help skirt the crowds at popular sites and even introduce less-known sites for a unique perspective.
 
For example, a good guide will take you to the Taj Mahal twice, once to get in line before it opens and later in the afternoon before it closes to experience variable lighting. Kutay remembers his last visit, “Instead of passing through the main gates twice, our local guide took us to the Mehatab Bagh (Moonlight Garden) across the Yamuna River, far from the tourist hordes, where we stood arm-in-arm, standing alone and moved to tears by the beautiful silhouette.”
 
3. Rethink Your Bucket List
Discover wonders of the world beyond UNESCO’s at-risk sites or the favorite ports of call of the cruise industry. Instead of the crowded hilltop towns of Tuscany, try the hills of the Istrian peninsula of Slovenia and Croatia. Rather than being part of the problem of overcrowding in Venice, take the ferry to the small fishing town of Rovinj, where you are welcomed by locals who take you around in a traditional Batana fishing boat.
 
4. Timing Is Everything — Spend Time at the Right Place
Plan your day at famous sites carefully and be sure to get the latest information as local conditions and regulations change constantly. The best plan is familiar the world over. In Croatia, plan to tour Dubrovnik before cruise ship passengers disembark, in Cambodia visit Siem Reap before tour buses disgorge, and in Peru arrive at Machu Picchu before the daily trains do. When you finally are where you’ve dreamt of being, follow slow travel principles and linger longer, but in fewer places.
 
5. Pay to Play
A great many worthwhile experiences cost more. Whether a part of a private and exclusive event or of a carefully managed ecotour that limits the number of visitors, the extra dollars spent help to protect fragile habitats and visitor experiences.
 
In Africa, this may look like tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda for which there are limited permits. To protect the experience in some locales for years to come, some safaris are very exclusive and conducted in a private nature reserve like Timbavati in Greater Kruger N.P. In Tanzania, the remote camps of Katavi and Mahale require bush flights to access some of the wildest places on the planet.
 
In South America, the fragile cultural patrimony of the Inca Trail in Peru and delicate balance of nature in the Galapagos Islands are carefully managed by limited permits and fees that control access and provide a source of revenue for critical conservation programs. Advance planning is required to enjoy the privilege of being among the few where limited numbers of permits are allotted.
 
6. Consider Where You Stay
Your choice of accommodations is one of the most important considerations in minimizing impact on the local environs while maximizing the benefits you bring to the local community. Many hotels, camps, ecolodges, yachts and expedition ships are rated for their level of sustainability. They are rated on energy sources, recycling, waste management, water conservation, food sourcing, and other sustainability-focused initiatives. In addition, many are actively involved in nature and wildlife conservation and in educating guests about ecosystems and biodiversity. These accommodations are deeply connected and committed to indigenous culture and the well-being of local communities. The highest rated ecolodges and camps are safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage while delivering the most meaningful guest experiences.
 
Traveling Responsibly Isn’t About Staying Home

The Center for Responsible Tourism asserts that traveling responsibly “…is about managing travel and destinations in an environmentally and culturally responsible way and designing tourism programs and individual trips carefully to provide travelers with the experience they seek, while leaving a positive footprint on their destination.” Destinations are always changing and we have many choices to make when we travel, “but the important thing is to be mindful of our impact on the people and places that give us so much and help others to do the same…and to keep traveling,” says Kutay.
 
For more information on Wildland Adventures’ worldwide offerings, availability and reservations, call 1-800-345-4453 or email info@wildland.com. Visit http://www.wildland.com/.

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Applications Being Accepted for 16th Annual Global Scavenger Hunt, Around-the-World Mystery Tour, Set for April 17-May 9, 2020

Racing out of Petra, Jordan, team Lazy Monday, Eric & Kathryn Verwillow of California, who would go on to win second place in the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SANTA ROSA, USA –The 16th annual edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt, known among travel cognoscenti as the world travel championship, is set to take place over 23-days between April 17 and May 9, 2020, is now accepting applications for entry. Eager Indiana Jones-types of adventurers and curious travelers wanting to test their travel IQ against other travelers in an extraordinary around-the-world travel adventure competition that crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers, can apply at GlobalScavengerHunt.com

“Competitions, trophies and titles provide inspiration,” says Event Director William Chalmers, “We want the best international travelers to participate. The 2020 event will find out if travel writers and bloggers know the world as well as they claim to; whether social media influencers and travel agents can go beyond their staged selfies and glossy brochures; and whether some of the world’s ‘most traveled people’ and Amazing Race wannabe’s actually have any real-world travel skills. Winning our event is the ultimate test and proof.” 

The 2020 event will pit savvy international travelers against each other by taking them on A Blind Date with the World, visiting ten secret destinations without any prior preparation, and then have them unravel a constant blitz of highly authentic, participatory and challenging culturally-oriented scavenges along the way, like: meditating with monks, training elephants, taking flamenco lessons, cooking local dishes with local chefs, searching out Lost Cities, cracking sacred temple mysteries, joining in local celebrations, and learning local languages enough to decipher their scavenger hunt clues. Trusting strangers in strange lands will be their focus as they circle the globe for three weeks. The event has touched foot in 85 countries to date.

The title of The World’s Greatest Travelers and free trip around the world to defend their titles in the 2021 event await the travelers worthy enough to win the 16th edition of the world travel championship.    

Event participation is open but limited; the $25,000 per team entry fee includes all international airfare, First Class hotels, 40% of meals, and special event travel gear. All travelers are interviewed for suitability and single travelers are welcome to apply. For additional information please visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com, or contact GreatEscape Adventures Inc., at +1.310.281.7809. (CST#2071053-40)

See Global Scavenger Hunt: In the Scramble to be Crowned ‘World’s Best Travelers’ and more features on the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt at goingplacesfarandnear.com

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London Tour Operator Evan Evans’ Family Friendly Offerings Include Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Royal Windsor Steam Express & Castle Tour

On Evan Evans’ Royal Windsor Steam Express with Castle Tour, travel from Waterloo to Windsor in style onboard the Mayflower, a beautifully restored traditional British steam train from the golden age of rail travel.

LONDON – Evan Evans, one of London’s oldest and largest tour operators, takes the pressure out of where to go and what to do when vacationing with family in London with such magical offerings as a walking tour of Harry Potter film locations, and a trip on the Royal Windsor Steam Express with Castle Tour, traveling  from Waterloo to Windsor in style onboard the Mayflower, a beautifully restored traditional British steam train from the golden age of rail travel. 

A bit of magical realism can be fun for the whole family when you follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous wizard on the enchanting 3-hour Harry Potter Film Locations Walking Tour of London. The magic starts at Westminster tube station and then it’s on to the real-life locations that provided the inspiration for some of the most iconic locations in the wizarding world of the Harry Potter film series.  Visit exciting locations from the film series, including Diagon Alley, Platform 9 3/4s, and discover the inspiration behind the sites, as our expert guide brings the magic to life.  The tour includes Evans Evans’ personal headsets which guarantee a more immersive and intimate experience. Tours start at $25 for children/seniors and $33.75 for adults. 

The Royal Windsor Steam Express with Castle Tour rolls out the red carpet to royalty.  Travel from Waterloo to Windsor in style onboard the Mayflower, a beautifully restored traditional British steam train from the golden age of rail travel. Relax on this fantastic steam train to Windsor and let the romance of steam travel whisk you away to a town steeped in royal heritage.  Windsor Castle is set within 13 acres and boasts more than 1,000 impressive rooms.  Founded in the 11th Century by William the Conqueror, you’ll learn about how Windsor Castle has withstood siege, been used for official entertaining as a royal court by King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and as a home to 39 monarchs, including the UK’s reigning Queen Elizabeth II who enjoys many of her private weekends at the Castle. Unravel the spectacular history of Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world. Enjoy visits to the magnificent State Apartments, Semi-State Rooms, Grand Reception Room, Queen Mary’s Doll House, and beautiful St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in May 2018. Depending on the day and time of your visit, you might be lucky to witness the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle. The ceremony sees the guards marching through Windsor town and into the castle for the guard change.  Tours start at $80 for children and $92.50 for adults. In April 2020, families can take the steam train to Windsor and visit the famous LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort on the new Royal Windsor Steam Express with LEGOLAND’ tour. With over 55 rides, live shows and attractions set over 150 acres of parkland plus a fully LEGO themed hotel on site, the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is a family destination that is not to be missed! 

You can discover over a thousand years of history at England’s most beautiful medieval castles and also visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the historic city of Oxford on our Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s England, Oxford & The Cotswolds tour. Set against the River Avon within 64 acres of landscaped parkland, Warwick Castle once belonged to the most powerful man in England, The Earl of Warwick. This action-packed family attraction has a full program of entertainment throughout the year, such as meeting with figures of Warwick’s historic inhabitants inside the state rooms, including Countess Daisy, young Winston Churchill and many more. Go for a walk on the ramparts and up to the top of the mound where you’ll get a breath-taking view of the castle and grounds. You can also relax in the peacock garden by the Conservatory with the gentle sound of a water fountain and live peacocks walking around you. For a unique history lesson, you can view a trebuchet (a medieval catapult) that fires a rock across the grounds of the Castle. In Stratford-upon-Avon, you’ll visit the 16th-century half-timbered house where Shakespeare was born in 1564 and grew up. Families will enjoy a fascinating insight into tales of his family life and admire rare artefacts on displays from the Shakespeare Trust’s world-class collections. On the tour’s final stop, explore ‘The City of Dreaming Spires,’ and the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford. You’ll enjoy a walking tour with our expert guide, and maybe spot filming locations shot for countless movies and TV series over the years, including the Harry Potter film seriesTour options start at $77.50 per person.

Evan Evans is one of the longest-established and largest sightseeing companies in London, operating since 1933. The company offers a range of tours of Britain, from majestic palaces and castles and quaint country villages to the historic cities of Bath, Oxford and Canterbury.

For more information and reservations, visit www.evanevanstours.com
or call Evan Evans at (0)20-795-0177.

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Gift of Travel: Insight Vacations’ Offers Special Discounts to Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and Morocco Thru Nov. 8

Sistine Chapel, Vatican (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

For those looking to get their holiday gifts early this year, you can give the gift of travel this season with Insight Vacations’ air offers to Europe and beyond.

Delight your loved ones with wine under the Tuscan sun, a cruise over the turquoise-blue waters of Greece or even a private tour of the magnificent architecture of ancient Egypt. When they travel with Insight Vacations, they won’t just see a destination, they’ll meet it, feel it and taste it. Insight Vacations creates the opportunity to experience countries in depth with deliciously authentic dining, immersive experiences with locals and hand-picked, luxurious hotels— located in the heart of the destination. Our passionate Travel Directors will be with you every step of the way providing a seamless, magical and unforgettable experience.

From now until Nov. 8, you can save 10% on Insight’s immersive vacations to Europe plus $300 off economy air per couple.

Insight Vacations is offering 10% off trips with its popular Early Payment Discount on trips to Europe for those who book and pay in full by December 18, 2019. In addition, past guests and Club Bon Voyage Members can save up to 5%.

By choosing flights with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia, you can save $150 off per person on Economy, $200 off per person on Premium Economy or $300 off per person on Business Class on departures to Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and Morocco from Oct. 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020 to Nov. 15, 2020.

Insights’ immersive trips to Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt include:

Best of Italy (11 days): Showcasing Italy’s grandest attractions, this remarkable journey takes guests to historic landmarks with a local expert such as the Vatican Museum, the Bramante Staircase, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. In Tuscany, guests experience a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolò Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote “The Prince.” Afterwards, guests taste wines made from vineyards surrounding the home. They’ll also visit the Italian garden for a view of Florence’s iconic domed cathedral and explore the historic cellar connected to one of the oldest restaurants in Italy by a secret tunnel.  On Giudecca Island, guests will admire the age-old skill of glassblowing by skilled artisans at an arts center, and in Venice they will ride on a gondola while being serenaded through the historic canals under starry skies. Travelers also take a private cruise to the Isle of sun-kissed Capri to enjoy breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Wonders of Egypt (9 days): Guests begin this spectacular journey by visiting the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and viewing the treasures of Tutankhamun with Insight’s professionally trained Egyptologist. They experience the splendor of the Great Pyramids and venture inside one of the inner chambers before gazing upon the mythical Great Sphinx. Clients then take a scenic flight to Luxor, where they explore the massive temple complex of Karnak before boarding their cruise ship then visiting the Temple of Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the west bank of the Nile they’ll explore the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Valley of the Kings, home to the magnificent tombs of Egypt’s pharaohs, and visit a working bakery to watch local artisans making authentic Egyptian bread. The following evening clients experience a traditional Egyptian dinner and galabeya party, and on the final day they see the imposing Aswan High Dam, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the majestic Temple of Isis. The trip ends with a ride in a traditional Nile felucca, where clients learn about the art of sailing this ancient craft from a local sailor.

For more information, contact Insight Vacations at 800-582-8380 or visit www.insightvacations.com.

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