BJT 5th Annual Book of Lists.
This installment of BJT's Book of Lists includes Must-have Experiences, the World's Most Exotic Foods, High-Altitude Hotels, and much, much more!

BJT 5th Annual Book of Lists

Welcome to BJT’s fifth annual Book of Lists, a treasure trove of useful, funny, entertaining, and occasionally amazing information and trivia. 
See the Photo Gallery below for a glimpse at some of the people, places, and items featured in this year’s Book of Lists.

8 American Restaurants that Predate the Civil War

5 Ski Resorts to Visit Off-Season

8 Best Aftermarket Aircraft Options

8 of the Best Factory Tours

5 Places to Drink with Hemingway’s Ghost

6 Must-have Experiences in France

11 Places for Music Fans to Visit

5 Monuments to Love

5 City Centers to Explore on Foot

7 of the World’s Most Exotic Foods

10 Exotic Spa Treatments

10 Little-known Civil War Battlefields Worth Visiting

9 Unusual American Restaurants

12 Great Bookstores Specializing in Used and Rare Volumes

8 Musicians Who Own Wineries

10 of America’s Most Scenic Roads

12 Greatest American Symphonies

10 Best Obscure U.S. National Parks

11 High-Altitude Hotels

4 Places to Watch a Rocket Launch

7 Places to Take Non-African Safaris

12 Memorable Music Festivals

5 Places to Encounter Apex Predators

7 Best Island Getaways

6 Excellent Wine Varietals You’ve Probably Never Trie

5 Gadgets for Cell-Phone Camera Buffs

5 Vacations That Cost Over $50,000

4 Superb American Vodkas

6 Memorable Private Jet Tours

8 Luxury Tree-House Hotels

6 Great New Jersey Boardwalks

3 Favorite African Destinations of John Paul DeJoria

5 Best Undiscovered Locations

9 Restaurants That Recently Won Three-star Michelin Ratings

7 Business Jets Offering Best Overall Value in their Category

6 Stops at Dayton, Ohio’s Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

6 U.S. Warships Open to the Public

4 Best Movie Studio Tours

13 Jets with Lowest Operating Costs in their Category

9 Great Waterfront Bike Routes


8 American Restaurants that Predate the Civil War

1.  Olde Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., est. 1856 

2.  Tadich Grill, San Francisco, est. 1849

3.  Antoine’s, New Orleans, est. 1840

4.  Durgin-Park, Boston, est. 1827

5.  Union Oyster House, Boston, est. 1826 

6.  Griswold Inn, Essex, Connecticut, est. 1776

7.  Fraunces Tavern, New York, est. 1762

8.  White Horse Tavern, Newport, Rhode Island, est. 1673

—John Grossmann


5 Ski Resorts to Visit Off-Season

1.  Stowe, Vermont. A zip line lets you race down Mount Mansfield, and Stowe offers options for hikers, golfers, and bikers.

2.  Aspen, Colorado. Fishermen and rafters enjoy the splendor of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers. Bikers and festival-goers also love off-season Aspen. 

3.  Sun Valley, Idaho. This world-famous winter resort draws hikers and bikers off-season and is also known for its art galleries and Sun Valley Summer Symphony. 

4.  Big Sky, Montana. For fun ways to test yourself and hone your “inner survivalist,” it’s hard to beat this massive resort’s high-ropes course, giant swing, zip-line tour, bungee trampoline, and 25-foot climbing wall.

5.  Lake Placid, New York. In addition to myriad hiking and biking trails, this two-time Winter Olympics host offers Olympics-related activities such as learning to bobsled, biathlon training, and visiting the Lake Placid Olympic Museum.

—Robert Kiener

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8 Best Aftermarket Aircraft Options

1.  SiriusXM Satellite Weather. Access live reports worldwide. 

2.  GoGo Text & Talk. Use your own smartphone and number to call and text over the aircraft’s Wi-Fi system, without access codes.

3.  Aviation Partners’ blended winglets. Besides looking cool, they typically increase range 5 to 7 percent and enable faster climbs to altitude, saving fuel in the process. 

4.  Hartzell swept-blade “turbofan” aluminum and composite propellers. These propellers for many turboprops cut cabin noise, increase speed, and decrease takeoff and landing rolls. 

5.  Raisbeck lockers. These wing lockers on Beechcraft King Airs and aft fuselage lockers on Bombardier Learjet 60s add substantially to luggage capacity without increasing drag.

6.  Electric berthing divans. Several companies make couches that open into beds at the touch of a button—an improvement over manual units, which were cumbersome and prone to failure. 

7.  Anti-skid brakes. These weren’t even options on some new aircraft. Companies like Advent Aircraft Systems now offer them for airplanes that weigh up to 20,000 pounds. 

8.  Iacobucci HF aircraft cappuccino/espresso maker. It uses heat exchangers instead of a boiler, eliminating the wait time for water reheating after each use. The absence of a boiler also makes it much lighter than competing units.

—Mark Huber  (Aviation-industry veteran Huber has reviewed aircraft for BJT since 2005.)

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8 of the Best Factory Tours

1.  Boeing, Mukilteo, Washington. Fly-in parking is available at this factory, where you learn how airplanes are manufactured. 

2.  Ford Motors Rouge Factory, Dearborn, Michigan. See trucks being built, and view multisensory films and iconic vehicles. 

3.  Ben & Jerry’s, Waterbury, Vermont. Sample Cherry Garcia and other ice cream flavors, and see how they’re made. 

4.  Pez Candy, Orange, Connecticut. Fans of the wacky candy dispensers can view the production line and visit the factory's museum. 

5.  Louisville Slugger, Louisville, Kentucky. See where the celebrated bats are crafted and walk through a museum of baseball history. 

6.  Celestial Seasonings, Boulder, Colorado. This tea-factory tour is notable for its pungent Mint Room, where mint tea bags are assembled.

7.  Steinway & Sons, Long Island City, New York. Tours of the famous piano factory let you see where the music starts. 

8.  Coca-Cola, Atlanta. See the story behind one of the world’s most recognizable brands and try flavors from around the world. 

—Chana R. Schoenberger

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5 Places to Drink with Hemingway’s Ghost

1.  El Floridita, Havana. Home of the daiquiri, where novelist Ernest Hemingway spent more nights than at any other bar during the 1950s.

2.  Captain Tony’s Saloon, Key West, Florida. The original Sloppy Joe’s, owned by Hemingway sidekick and rumrunner Joe Russell during the 1930s, still has rustic dirt floors.

3.  Ritz Hotel, Paris. Where Hemingway celebrated the end of World War II with champagne toasts. The elegant bar is named in his honor. 4

4.  Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain. Roast suckling pig and red wine was Hemingway’s favorite at this 1725 classic, where he set the last scene in The Sun Also Rises.

5.  Sun Valley Lodge, Sun Valley, Idaho. Hemingway enjoyed drinks here after a day of working on For Whom the Bell Tolls—or hunting pheasants with actor Gary Cooper. 

—Thomas R. Pero

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11 Places for Music Fans to Visit

1.   The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, Cleveland. You could spend days here watching films, exploring the archives, and viewing the permanent and special exhibits.

2.  EMP Museum, Seattle. Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen launched this facility, which houses huge collections devoted to rockers Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, both from Seattle.

3.  Nashville, Tennessee. Attend a broadcast of the Grand Ol’ Opry radio show, which has aired weekly since 1925, and stop by the Johnny Cash Museum.

4.  The Museum at Bethel Woods, Bethel, New York. Exhibits, programs, and events celebrate the 1969 Woodstock music festival “and the entire decade that it came to represent.” 

5.  Asbury Park, New Jersey. Visit the boardwalk Springsteen sang about and the Stone Pony club where he has often played, then drive to nearby Monmouth University, which houses 20,000 Springsteen-related books, recordings, and posters.

6.  Memphis, Tennessee. Get a double dose of rock history with stops at Elvis Presley’s Graceland home and Sun Studios, where Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis made early records.

7.  Liverpool, England. A Magical Mystery Tour takes you to the Beatles’ birthplaces, the place where Lennon and McCartney first met, the Cavern Club, and the locations that inspired such songs as “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” 

8.  Hibbing, Minnesota. See Bob Dylan’s childhood home, elementary school, and high school; the site of his father’s business; the place where he had his bar mitzvah; and the town library’s extensive collection of Dylan books, articles, and memorabilia. 

9.  Bob Marley Museum, Kingston, Jamaica. The reggae giant’s home—the site of a failed assassination attempt—is now a museum that includes a 3D hologram of Marley and his recording studio.

10.  Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. You’ll find graves here for everyone from Oscar Wilde to Edith Piaf, but it’s the graffiti-covered tombstone of the Doors’ Jim Morrison that draws crowds. 

11.  Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock, Texas. The center preserves and promotes music of this seminal rocker and other early West Texas artists and seeks to discover and promote new performers.

—Jeff Burger (BJT editor Burger’s latest book, Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon, will be published in November by Chicago Review Press.)

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6 Must-have Experiences in France

1.  Eating in a crêperie in Brittany. These restaurants specialize in savory pancakes, and each cook makes them a little differently. Try La Capitainerie in Quiberon

2.  Hiking in the Pyrenees. Though not as famous as the Alps, they’re worth the trip. 

3.  Getting lost in Lyon’s renaissance district. Walk narrow streets and explore passageways inside five-century-old buildings.

4.  Visiting Marseille’s MuCEM. An amazing permanent exhibit at this architecturally breathtaking new museum will give you a deep understanding of Mediterranean cultures. 

5.  Learning about the life of the monks in the Chartreuse mountains. Chartreuse is the name of a massif, a monastery, and an aromatic herb-based spirit. Learn about all three—and be sure to sample the spirit—in a charming part of the Alps.

6.  Seeing a pageant at the massive Murol castle. Falconry, jousting, and demonstrations of using peasant tools from the Middle Ages add up to pageantry at its best.

—Thierry Dubois

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5 Monuments to Love

1.  Taj Mahal, Agra, India. This marble mausoleum was completed about 1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. 

2.  Kodai-ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan. After the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a 16th century warlord, his wife built this complex. The main temple houses artwork and lacquer furnishings and is surrounded by a memorial hall with carved images of the couple, a mausoleum, and gardens. 

3.  Mirabell Palace, Salzburg, Austria. This baroque mansion and its gardens were a gift from prince archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau to his mistress, Salome Alt, in 1606. 

4.  Boldt Castle, Heart Island, New York. Millionaire George Boldt began building this castle for his wife, Louise, but ceased construction when she died in 1904. The castle was restored and opened to visitors in 1977.

5.  Eleanor Crosses, England. King Edward I had 12 opulently decorated crosses erected after the death of his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, between 1291 and 1294. Three of the crosses remain, in Geddington, Hardingstone, and Waltham Cross. 

—Marilyn Jones

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5 City Centers to Explore on Foot

1.  Jaipur, India. Labyrinths of narrow streets are lined with craftsmen creating one-of-a-kind treasures. 

2.  Santiago, Chile. Walk from Santa Lucia Hill Park and the four-century-old San Francisco Church to La Moneda Palace, the seat of government, and Plaza de Armas. 

3.  Old Town Edinburgh, Scotland. See 12th century Edinburgh Castle to the west, 16th century Palace of Holyrood house to the east, and the Royal Mile connecting the two. 

4.  Ghent, Belgium. One of Belgium’s oldest cities has beautiful gothic public buildings, towering churches, and historic homes.

5.  Santa Fe, New Mexico. The oldest capital city in North America features distinctive Spanish-Pueblo-style architecture.

—Marilyn Jones

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7 of the World’s Most Exotic Foods

1.  Balut. Popular in Southeast Asia, this boiled fertilized duck egg embryo (beak, eyes, head, and all) is best eaten with a dash of sea salt and, for first timers, your eyes closed. 

2.  Cobra hearts. Considered an aphrodisiac by the Vietnamese, the cobra's fresh heart (just killed, best when still beating) is eaten raw, often followed by a gulp of cobra blood or some rice wine.

3.  Puffer fish. Because Japan’s fugu contains tetrodotoxin—a lethal, paralyzing poison for which no known antidote exists—chefs must be specially licensed to serve the fish, which over the years has resulted in deaths.

4.  Jellied moose nose. Alaskans prefer the term “boiled moose snout” for this northern delicacy, which is cooked until it is gelatinous and served with onion, garlic, and spices.

5.  Casu marzu. Although it’s technically illegal, you can buy this sheep’s milk cheese, or pecorino, on Italy’s black market. It’s eaten after it has been allowed to become infested by maggots.

6.  Fruit bat soup. Drop a fruit bat (often still alive) into boiling milk; add sea salt, ginger, onions, and scallions; simmer; and serve.

7.  Fried tarantulas. Cambodians call these a-ping and serve them deep-fried with sugar, salt, and garlic. Aside from their usually squishy abdomens they are crispy and chewy; pull off the legs and eat those first.

—Robert Kiener (Kiener, who lived in Guam for two years, has sampled items 1 and 7 on his list.)

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10 Exotic Spa Treatments

1.  Manaka Tapping, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas. The therapist taps a wooden peg with a hammer on your body to relieve pain and induce euphoria.

2.  Full-body “Doctor Fish,” Termeden Waterpark, Icheon, South Korea. Fish tickle-nibble off old, dead skin in this water treatment.

3.  Ku Nye Five, ITC Grand Bharat, Gurgaon, India. Regeneration with Himalayan salt, hot poultices, and rose quartz crystals. 

4.  Gemology treatment, Gstaad Palace, Gstaad, Switzerland. Fade wrinkles with treatments using diamonds, jade, rubies, and pearls. 

5.  Sobada Maya at Hacienda Temozon, Yucatan, Mexico. Indigenous Mayan healing massage in a cenote, an underwater cave.

6.  Dream Catcher, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dreamy Native American healing with sage smudging, cranial sacral, and Lomi Lomi.

7.  “Euga Geneous” Hotel Chinzanso, Tokyo. Massage uses nourishing euglena, an organism that cleanses, nourishes, and moisturizes.

8.  The Olive Branch Journey, Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey. Olive tree leaf muslin wrap with buckwheat androse yogurt.

9.  Ashiatsu Massage, Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Best Japanese, Thai, Indian, and Chinese techniques in which a therapist walks barefoot on your body.

10.  The Planets Treatment, Lush Spa, New York. Four hours of a planet-inspired journey including massage, palm reading, and facial.

—Margie Goldsmith

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10 Little-known Civil War Battlefields Worth Visiting

1.  Rich Mountain, near Beverly, West Virginia. A scenic mountaintop where a battle occurred in July 1861.

2.  Mill Springs, near Nancy, Kentucky. Where Gen. Felix Zollicoffer was killed in an ill-fated offensive in January 1862.

3.  Grand Gulf, near Port Gibson, Mississippi. Where Ulysses S. Grant was repelled while attacking Vicksburg in 1863.

4.  Honey Springs, near Rentiesville, Oklahoma. The largest battle in what was then “Indian territory.”

5.  Fort Pillow, Henning, Tennessee. Where surrendering African-American soldiers were massacred by Confederates.

6.  McDowell, Virginia. A hilltop 1862 battlefield in the mountains of western Virgina.

7.  Sabine Pass, near Port Arthur, Texas. Lt. Dick Dowling and a small Confederate fort turned back a Union invasion on the Sabine River.

8.  Elkins Ferry, near Okolona, Arkansas, but on the other side of the river. Site of a battle during Steele’s retreat in 1864.

9.  Mine Creek, near Fort Smith, Kansas. Pursuing Union troops caught Price’s retreating army here crossing the creek in October 1864.

10.  Averasboro, near Dunn, North Carolina. A well-preserved battlefield, site of one of the war’s last engagements in 1865.

—Jeff Wieand

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9 Unusual American Restaurants

1.  The Yurt at Solitude, Park City, Utah. Snowshoe through a forest to a Mongolian-style yurt and enjoy a four-course meal.

2.  Miami Supercar Rooms, Miami. Dine in a private pod showcasing an ultra-rare, exotic, or custom-made auto.

3.  Opaque, San Diego, Santa Monica, San Francisco. Blind or sight-impaired waiters lead blindfolded patrons to seats in a pitch-black restaurant. 

4.  The Airplane Restaurant, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dine inside a Boeing KC-97 flight-refueling tanker.

5.  Forbes Island, San Francisco. The floating “island” offers a 40-foot lighthouse; views of Coit Tower, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge; and downstairs tables with underwater views of the bay.

6.  Naked Sushi, Las Vegas. Experience the Japanese tradition of nyotaimori, the serving of sushi and sashimi from the body of a naked or barely clad woman (or, sometimes, man) who lies statue-still on a table. 

7.  Safe House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No name appears outside this spy-themed restaurant, which features secret doors, hidden passageways, and two-way mirrors.

8.  The Traveler Restaurant, Union, Connecticut. You can select three free books from the upstairs shelves. Some 20,000 more used books, a more alluring cache, are for sale downstairs. 

9.  Exchange Bar & Grill, New York, New York. Drink prices fluctuate Wall Street style on a behind-the-bar ticker according to onsite supply and demand. 

—John Grossmann

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12 Great Bookstores Specializing in Used and Rare Volumes

1.  Baldwin’s Book Barn, West Chester, Pennsylvania. You can get lost in this large and charming bookstore in an 1822 barn.

2.  Brattle Bookshop, Boston. Don’t miss the rare-book room or the bargain carts outside.

3.  Cellar Stories Bookstore, Providence, Rhode Island. Up a flight of stairs, not in a cellar!

4.  Hermitage Bookshop, Denver. Many rare items aren’t on display, so if you don’t see it, ask.

5.  Lyrical Ballad Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, New York. A warren of rooms, plus a rare-book collection in a vault.

6.  Merrill’s Book Shop, Hallowell, Maine. Excellent stock on the shelves and many rare books to be viewed on request.

7.  Owl Pen Books8.  Powell’s Books, Portland, Oregon and Chicago. The Portland location is one of the world’s most famous bookstores. The Chicago store is known for its academic books.

9.  Strand Book Store, New York. A massive place, with a huge selection of review copies.

10.  Cheever Books, San Antonio, Texas. A distinguished bookshop on a street with other bookshops.

11.  Elder’s Book Store, Nashville. One of the biggest and best Civil War collections anywhere.

12.  Second Story Books, Washington, D.C. The best place to buy used books in the nation’s capital.

—Jeff Wieand

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8 Musicians Who Own Wineries

1.  Boz Scaggs (Scaggs Vineyards, Napa Valley, California). Scaggs—whose hits include “Lowdown” and“Lido Shuffle”—and his wife Dominique have been offering wines since 2000.

2.  Sting (Il Palagio, Tuscany, Italy). The British singer and his wife bought a rundown Italian estate in 1999 and now produce four varietals, including a recently released Sangiovese blend.

3.  Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson (Ferguson Crest Winery, Santa Ynez Valley, California). The Black-Eyed Peas lead singer teamed with her father to create a boutique winery that offers organic wines.

4.  Dave Matthews (Dreaming Tree, Sonoma County California). The Dave Matthews Band founder owned a Virginia winery before heading west to produce the popular Dreaming Tree varietals.

5. Jonathan Cain (Finale Wines, Healdsburg, California). Journey’s longtime keyboardist produces premium pinot noirs and cabernet sauvignons in partnership with De La Montanya Winery.

6. Kix Brooks (Arrington Wineries, Nashville, Tennessee). The country singer/songwriter—best known as half of Brooks & Dunn—produces excellent Viogniers, a dry, medium-bodied wine.

7. Train (Save Me, San Francisco Wines, California). The San Francisco-based band founded a wine company named after their hit album. Proceeds from wine sales charity, according to Jimmy Stafford, the band’s “lead wine explorer.”

8. Cliff Richard (Adega do Cantor—Winery of the Singer, Algarve, Portugal). The British pop singer has had a home in Portugal’s southernmost region for 40 years, and planting a vineyard on his property was the genesis for his Vida Nova wines.

—Mary Ann DeSantis

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10 of America’s Most Scenic Roads

1.  Pacific Coast Highway/Rte. 1, California. Rent a convertible and drive from Pebble Beach through the Cypresses to Big Sur and Santa Barbara.

2.  The Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina to Virginia. America’s longest rural parkway includes Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

3.  Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana. A pristine drive through thick pines, glacial lakes and beside snow-covered mountains.

4.  San Juan Skyway, Colorado. Drive past three 14,000-foot peaks in Telluride, Ponderosa pines, and quaint mining towns. 

5.  The Aufderheide Scenic Byway, Oregon. Drive past lush forests and cascading streams in Eugene, the Cascades, and Oregon’s coast region. 

6.  Scenic Byway 12, Utah. Admire the red hills and drop-dead scenery of Zion National Park, and head to the unworldly hoodoos and cliffs of Bryce Canyon.

7.  Route 89A, Arizona. Begin in Flagstaff and descend mountain switchbacks to Sedona’s red-stone formations.

8.  Denali National Park Road, Alaska. Six million acres of pristine wilderness, only one road, and exceptional abundant wildlife.

9.  Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway, Georgia. Gorgeous drive wending through the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. 

10.  Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii. HI-360, with 620 curves and 59 bridges, adjoins rainforest, waterfalls, and dramatic seascapes. 

—Margie Goldsmith

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12 Greatest American Symphonies

1.  Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 4 (Litton/Dallas Symphony)

2.  Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2, “Romantic” (Slatkin/St. Louis Symphony)

3.  Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1 (Slatkin/St. Louis Symphony)

4.  Walter Piston’s Symphony No. 2 (Thomas/Boston Symphony)

5.  Walter Piston’s Symphony No. 6 (Munch/Boston Symphony)

6.  William Schuman’s Symphony No. 3 (Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)

7.  William Schuman’s Symphony No. 6 (Schwartz/Seattle Symphony)

8.  Peter Mennin’s Symphony No. 7 (Martinon/Chicago Symphony)

9.  Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3 (Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)

10.  Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety” (Bernstein/Israel Philharmonic)

11.  George Rochberg’s Symphony No. 2 (Torkanowski/New York Philharmonic

12.  Irving Fine’s Symphony (Rose/Boston Modern Orchestra Project)

—Jeff Wieand (Wieand, a BJT columnist, is the world’s greatest classical-music expert, according to Wieand, the self-proclaimed world’s greatest rater of classical-music experts.)

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10 Best Obscure U.S. National Parks

1.  Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Walk on a glacier, see wildlife on a boat tour, and ski in winter. 

2.  Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Stunning dark skies, and a maze of canyons and pinnacles where bighorn sheep and antelope roam.

3.  Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior, Michigan. A spectacular Great Lakes wilderness offers solitude and adventure.

4.  Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California. Towering sequoias, glacial canyons, river valleys, alpine lakes, and more.

5.  Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota. This remote 218,000-acre natural wonder is the largest freshwater-based national park. 

6.  Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. The world’s densest cave system, and above it, a mix of ponderosa forest and prairie.

7.  Great Basin National Park, Nevada. View 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, and the Lehman Cave ecosystem. 

8.  Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, Utah. Petroglyphs, gorgeous hiking trails, and rare geological formations. 

9.  Gulf Islands National Seashore, Santa Rosa County, Florida. Eight miles of undeveloped beachfront, towering dunes, and nesting sea turtles.

10.  Channel Islands National Park, California. Five eco-rich islands with 249,354 acres relatively undeveloped.

—Margie Goldsmith

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11 High-Altitude Hotels

1.  Hotel Everest View, Nepal, 12,729 feet. In Sagarmatha National Park. Chopper in from Katmandu and walk one mile.

2.  Le Refuge du Goûter, Chamonix, France, 12,582 feet. On the slopes of Mont Blanc, on the border of France and Italy. You have to climb to arrive. 

3.  Cristal Samana, Uyuni, Bolivia, 12,500 feet. The hotel’s walls, floor, and furnishings are all made of salt.

4.  Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco, Peru, 11,000 feet. An exquisite restored 16th century mansion with only 11 gorgeous suites.

5.  3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat, Zermatt, Switzerland, 10,170 feet. The highest hotel in the Swiss Alps near Zermatt with views of the iconic Matterhorn.

6.  Costilla Lodge at Vermejo Park Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 10,000 feet. Ted Turner’s full-service guest ranch.

7.  One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort, Breckenridge, Colorado, 9,600 feet. Ski in/ski out with a spa, two-lane bowling alley, and two movie lounges.

8.  Brooks Lake Lodge and Spa, Dubois, Wyoming, 9,200 feet. A secluded luxury resort on a pristine, remote alpine lake with drop-dead mountain views.

9.  Four Seasons Hotel Bogota, Columbia, 8,300 feet. You’ll have it all at this hot new “in” destination: culture, food, and pampering.

10.  Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah, 8,300 feet. Ski‐in/ski‐out at this lux spot with its own bowling alley and the largest spa in Utah.

11.  Explora en Atacama, Hotel de Larache, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, 8,015 feet. In the Atacama region of northern Chile in the hip little town of San Pedro de Atacama. 

—Margie Goldsmith

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4 Places to Watch a Rocket Launch

1.  Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launches by NASA and SpaceX are announced via spaceflightnow.com. 

2.  Wallops Island, Virginia. The NASA Visitor Center offers a perfect view of launches. For dates, see the What’s Up at Wallops app.

3.  Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Spaceadventures.com’s VIP tours can seat you less than a mile from the launch pad.

4. Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Call the Straight Talk Line at (805) 606-VAND for info on launches viewable from public sites outside the military base.

—Kimberly Button

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7 Places to Take Non-African Safaris

1.  India. Take a guided tour of Ranthambore National Park, home to perhaps 50 of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers in the wild. 

2.  Canada. See polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, as they migrate back onto the frozen Hudson Bay to hunt seal.

3.  Australia. Safaris offer a chance to view animals that are unique to the continent, including kangaroo, koala, dingo, platypus, wallaby, and wombat.

4.  Borneo. Hike several hours into the interior of Kubah National Park in Sarawak or take a cruise along the Kinabatangan River and you’ll see abundant wildlife, including orangutans. 

5.  China. The Minshan Mountains of Sichuan province provide shelter for some of the world’s most endangered wildlife, including panda bears, moon bears, and golden monkeys.

6.  Ecuador. Small-ship cruises stop at islands where you’ll discover giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and marine iguanas. 

7.  Brazil. In parts of the Pantanal region, tourist boats offer a good chance of seeing jaguars.

—Marilyn Jones

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12 Memorable Music Festivals

1.  New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Jazz aplenty, plus zydeco, brass bands, gospel, rock, and much more. April–May.

2.  The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Chamber music over six weeks surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. July–August. 

3.  Festival Acadian de Caraquet, New Brunswick, Canada. A giant party, ending with the raucous Tinamarre parade. August.

4.  Wide Open Bluegrass, Raleigh, North Carolina. Largest urban bluegrass fest in the U.S., plus old-time, roots, and Americana on six stages. September–October.

5.  Blues Music Awards, Memphis, Tennessee. America’s top blues players entertain in this one-night event. May.

6.  Fuji Rock Festival, Nigata Prefecture, Japan. Take a cable car to reach this three-day rock event at a ski resort. July.

7.  Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival, Mangochi, Malawi. The best of Afro-pop by a gorgeous lake. September.

8.  NYC Musical Saw Festival, New York. Musicians make beautiful music on carpenter’s saws. No kidding. July.

9.  Night in the Country, Yerington, Nevada. Country music and bull riding for three nights. Does it get more country than that? July.

10.  Lollapalooza, Chicago. Nostalgic for the 90s? Four-day iconic event with 170 performances in Grant Park. July.

11. A3C Hip-Hop Festival, Atlanta. A unique melting pot of new and old school hip-hop breaks out for five days. October.

12. Villette Sonique, Paris. If you’re going to go for industrial techno and electronica, where better to experience it than in Paris? May.

—Margie Goldsmith

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5 Places to Encounter Apex Predators

1.  Polar Park, Norway. Kiss socialized wolves and join the pack.

2.  Seal River Heritage Lodge, Canada. Approach polar bears on foot. 

3.  Tysfjord, Norway. Free dive with Orcas. 

4.  Harar, Ethiopia. Feed hyenas from a stick held in your mouth. 

5.  Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Track wolf packs. 

—Chris Allsop

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7 Best Island Getaways

1.  Sumba Island, Indonesia. Nihiwatu Resort has gorgeousvillas and is the closest a mere mortal will get to paradise. 

2.  Tetiaroa Island, French Polynesia. Stay at Brando’s Resort.

3.  Mustique Island, the Caribbean. A stunning 1,400-acre private island among St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

4.  Easter Island, Chile. The famous Moai statues will dazzle you, as will the posh hotel, Explora Rapa Nui.

5.  Mallorca Island, Spain. Relax at Belmond La Residencia on the edge of an artist’s village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

6.  Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada. For romance and relaxation, choose the Hastings House Country House Hotel. 

4. Lanai, Hawaii. Hawaii doesn’t get more private than Lanai, far from the madding crowds at the newly restored luxury Four Seasons Resort Lanai. 

—Margie Goldsmith 

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6 Excellent Wine Varietals You’ve Probably Never Tried

1.  Furmint. One of the backbones of Hungarian viticulture, this is the main grape used to produce the famous Tokaji sweet dessert wines. Kapscandy Family Winery in Napa Valley offers an intriguing Furmint/Muscat Blanc blend.

2.  Grenache Blanc. Grown and blended in the Rhone region of France as well as parts of Spain, this varietal is increasingly being vinified around the world. Sample a Grenache Blanc from Priest Ranch in Napa, California.

3.  Gruner Veltliner. Mostly grown in Austria, this sharp, crisp, and racy white exhibits high acidity with an enchanting finish. 

4.  Rousanne. Another white grape from France’s Rhone region, this has a slightly jasmine nose and hints of pear and other stone fruits. Truchard Vineyards from California’s Carneros region makes a lovely Roussane.

5.  Grillo. This simple white grape variety grows widely in Sicily. When paired, it can blossom into a wonderful wine such as Delila, an 80 percent Grillo/20 percent Viognier blend.

6.  Montepulciano. Fruit forward yet complex “Monty” grapes grow well in parts of California. Try the delicious, unoaked Montepulciano from Seven Artisans Winery.

—Bob Ecker

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5 Gadgets for Cell-Phone Camera Buffs

1.  Olloclip. Four lenses in one clip-on accessory provide wide-angle, macro, and fisheye options. Info: olloclip.com 4

2.  Pakpod. This compact tripod adjusts to all terrains to help you take photos anywhere. Info: pakpod.com

3.  Leef. You won’t max out your storage when you have this device to easily transfer and save files. Info: leefco.com

4.  LuMee. This front-lit cell-phone case illuminates your subject without draining your phone’s battery. Info: lumee.com

5.  Stance. This mini-tripod is smaller than a pack of gum, yet offers steady shots from a flat surface. Info: kenu.com 

—Kimberly Button

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5 Vacations That Cost Over $50,000

1.  Whichaway Camp, Antarctica. Nine days of expert guidance across the southernmost continent will cost you $65,000. 

2.  Dunton Hot Springs, Dunton, Colorado. For $135,885 a week, you can have exclusive use of a restored ghost town. 

3.  Calivigny Island, Caribbean. The island, equipped for luxury living, is available for up to 12 guests for $190,000 a week.

4.  The Journey to Nature’s Edge. A three-month safari seeking 18 of the world’s most charismatic megafauna costs $1,422,134. 

5.  The King of the Castle. Up to 120 guests can use three of India’s greatest palaces for three days each for a mere $3,071,811.

—Chris Allsop

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4 Superb American Vodkas

1.  Hanson Vodkas, Sonoma, California. A true artisanal producer using the largest column-still in the U.S. and making small-batch vodka from locally sourced grapes.

2.  Oryza Vodka, Thibodaux, Louisiana. Filtered an amazing 17 times for the smoothest vodka you’ll ever taste.

3.  Charbay’s Blood Orange Vodka, St. Helena, California. Made from organically grown California blood oranges, picked fresh and ripe, it’s the tastiest infused vodka on the market.

4. Tito’s Handmade, Austin, Texas. Family-run operation uses a time-consuming pot-distillation process.

—Bob Ecker

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6 Memorable Private Jet Tours

1.  Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela (Amazing Peru and Beyond). Machu Pichu, Angel Falls, and Rio de Janeiro are among highlights of this 14-day tour via a Learjet 35 or Beechcraft Premier 1.

2. Wildlife Encounters by Private Jet (Travcoa). See Bengal tigers, humpback whales, and other creatures in natural habitats in Africa, India, Asia, and the Pacific on a 20-day journey aboard a B-757. 

3.  Africa Revealed (Abercrombie & Kent). Travel from Marrakech to Cape Town on a seven-country, 21-day tour on a 50-seat B-757.

4.  Extraordinary Adventures Around-the-World Journey (Four Seasons). Swim with sea creatures, drive classic cars, enjoy a private night at the opera on nine-stop, 25-day journey. All-first-class Boeing 757. $137,000 pp dbl occ.

5.  China Vacation (Imperial Tours and Presidential Private Jet Vacations). Six-city, 17-day tour reveals China’s greatest treasures. Groups up to 30 on ACJ321, $72,800 pp and up; Groups up to 18 on GV or similar $85,000 pp and up.

6.  Around the World by Private Jet (National Geographic Expeditions). Twenty-four-day, five-continent journey includes 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites. All-first-class B-757. $76,950 pp dbl occ. 

—James Wynbrandt

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8 Luxury Tree-House Hotels

1.  Treehotel, Harads, Sweden. Options range from the twig-ensconced Bird’s Nest to the futuristic UFO.

2.  Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses, Kaikoura, New Zealand. Set 30 feet off the ground in a Manuka grove, tree houses offer modern amenities and dramatic mountain views.

3.  Kanopi House, Port Antonio, Jamaica. Four wood-framed accommodations with French doors and louvered windows, perched among soaring banyan trees.

4.  Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California. Seven elevated suites with private decks and disarming views of the California coast. 

5.  Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Ten secluded tree-house suites with floor-to-ceiling windows.

6.  Chewton Glen, Hampshire, England. Perched on stilts overlooking 130 acres of rolling gardens, with hot tubs and outdoor terraces.

7.  The Aviary at Wheatleigh Hotel, Lenox, Massachusetts. A two-story treetop perch, formerly an aviary, with winding staircase, antique soaking tub, and views of the Berkshires.

8.  Hinchinbrook Island Resort, Hinchinbrook Island, Australia. Fifteen secluded, elevated bungalows overlook a 96-acre national park with lush rainforests and nearby beaches.

—Marion Flanagan

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6 Great New Jersey Boardwalks

1.  Wildwood. The centerpiece of what has been jokingly called Philadelphia’s Riviera has giant amusement-park piers and a few of the East Coast’s best roller coasters. 

2.  Ocean City. Wildwood’s slightly less raucous older cousin just up the coast has a two-and-a-half-mile boardwalk lined with shops, eateries, and amusement-park rides. 

3.  Atlantic City. Don’t let the Coney Island aficionados tell you otherwise: Atlantic City’s boardwalk was the first, and it’s still the biggest. And it offers much more than casinos and nightclubs.

4.  Seaside Heights. The carnival-like boardwalk here, which is famous thanks to the Jersey Shore TV show, includes the magnificent antique Dentzell-Looff carousel. 

5.  Asbury Park. This grand boardwalk achieved new fame with Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 song “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” 

5.  Point Pleasant. With kid-centric amusements and a more sedate pace than its brassy neighbors, Point Pleasant’s boardwalk even features a popular aquarium.

—Joe Sharkey 

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3 Favorite African Destinations of John Paul DeJoria

1.  Mali. I’ve been appointed to serve as honorary counsel general of Mali to help develop the country with ecology in mind.

2.  Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. I spent a week last year climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with my son. It was a life-changing experience.

3.  The Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa. I always book the suite where Nelson Mandela stayed when he was released from prison, and imagine what it must have been like for him to go from jail to one of the world’s finest hotels.

Paul Mitchell Systems cofounder DeJoria was featured in BJT last December.

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5 Best Undiscovered Locations

1.  Chad, Africa. The only place where you’ll find surfing hippos, elephants, and gorillas hanging out on the beach.

2.  The Philippines. Most people think of beaches, but there’s much more to discover, including 100 tribal groups scattered throughout the islands.

3.  The Yukon, Canada. The national parks offer some of the world’s most jaw-dropping scenery. 

4.  Somaliland, Ethiopia. Northern Somalia is stable, safe, and self-governed. The people are incredibly friendly and proud to share their culture with visitors.

5.  Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Samarkand in Uzbekistan was run through by Genghis Kahn and conquered by Alexander the Great, who said: “Everything I heard about Samarkand is true, except that it’s more beautiful than I ever imagined.”

—Paula Froelich (Froelich is the founder of the A Broad Abroad brand and video series)

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9 Restaurants That Recently Won Three-star Michelin Ratings

1.  Cheval Blanc, Basel, Switzerland

2.  Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark

3.  T’ang Court, Hong Kong

4.  Manresa, Los Gatos, California

5.  Maaemo, Oslo, Norway

6.  Le Cinq, Hotel George V, Paris

7.  Plaza Athénée, Paris

8.  Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris

9.  Kohaku, Tokyo

—Chris Allsop

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7 Business Jets Offering Best Overall Value in their Category

1.  Cessna Citation M2 (VLJ)

2.  Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A (small-cabin/light jet)

3.  Cessna Citation XLS+ (super-light jet)

4.  Embraer Legacy 450 (midsize-cabin jet)

5.  Gulfstream 280 (super-midsize-cabin jet)

6.  Falcon 2000/EX/DX (large-cabin jet)

7.  Gulfstream 650 (ultra-long-range/heavy jet)

—James Wynbrandt (Source: Jet Advisors’ Private Jet Index, which incorporates data regarding runway performance, speed, fuel consumption, and cabin volume on 600-nautical-mile flight for aircraft from model year 2000 and later.)

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6 Stops at Dayton, Ohio’s Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

1.  National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. World’s largest military aviation museum. 

2.  Huffman Prairie Flying Field. Testing ground for Wright Brothers’ first “practical airplane.” 

3.  Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum. This is the burial place of luminaries, including the Wright Brothers.

4.  Carillon Park. Attractions range from the 1905 Wright Flyer III to craft beer from the 1880s-style Carillon Brewery.

5.  National Aviation Hall of Fame. Celebrates more than 200 American aviation pioneers and heroes, and its Research Center covers eras from early flight to the space age.

6.  Paul Laurence Dunbar House. House of the acclaimed African-American poet, a childhood friend of the Wrights, contains manuscripts and personal effects. 

—James Wynbrandt

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6 U.S. Warships Open to the Public

1.  U.S.S. Alabama, Mobile, Alabama. Had nine battle stars supporting WWII assaults on Japanese islands. 

2.  U.S.S. Midway, San Diego. One of America’s longest-serving warships (1945–92). 

3.  U.S.S. Iowa, San Pedro, California. Ruled the waves during WWII.

4.  S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, San Francisco. One of only two remaining of the 2,700 famed Liberty ships built during WWII. 

5.  U.S.S. Nautilus, Groton, Connecticut. This world-famous submarine was the Navy’s first nuclear warship. 

6.  U.S.S. Intrepid, New York, Aircraft carrier served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

7.  U.S.S. Arizona, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Partially sunk during Japanese air attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

8.  U.S.S. Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Supported Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions in 1945 and was the location for the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

9.  U.S.S. Kidd, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Launched in 1943 and named after Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, she adopted as her mascot the 18th century pirate Captain Kidd.

10.  U.S.S. Constitution, Boston. The wood-hulled three-masted Constitution, famed for its War of 1812 triumphs, is the world’s oldest commissioned naval ship.

11.  U.S.S Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Fall River, Massachusetts. Named after JFK’s elder brother, the Kennedy served in the naval blockade during the Cuban missile crisis and was a recovery ship for Gemini space missions.

12.  U.S.S. Salem, Quincy, Massachusetts. The only remaining fully preserved heavy cruiser of the post WWII era.

13.  U.S.S. Silversides, Muskegon, Michigan. Submarine credited with sinking 31 enemy ships in WWII.

14.  U.S.S. New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey. One the four Iowa-class battleships outfitted with 16-inch guns, served in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. 

15.  U.S.S. Little Rock, Buffalo, New York. Launched as a light cruiser late in WWII, later converted to a guided-missile cruiser.

16.  U.S.S. North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina. Famed as the first battleship commissioned (in 1941) since the West Virginia in 1923.

17.  U.S.S. Olympia, Philadelphia. Flagship of Commodore Dewey at the 1898 Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War; brought home remains of the Unknown Soldier after WW1.

18.  U.S.S. Texas, La Porte, Texas. Last remaining battleship to have seen service in both world wars. 

—Joe Sharkey

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4 Best Movie Studio Tours

1.  Universal, Burbank, California. A tram ride takes you along a dozen blocks of studio history, enhanced by theme-park attractions. 

2.  Paramount, Los Angeles. Visit soundstages and back lots and, if you opt for a VIP tour, explore archives and props from old films. 

3.  Sony, Culver City, California. This is the legendary MGM lot where The Wizard of Oz and hundreds of other movies were shot and where movies and TV shows are still produced. 

4.  Warner Brothers, Burbank, California. A behind-the scenes look at famous TV shows and films and at an iconic 110-acre back lot.     

—Joe Sharkey

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13 Jets with Lowest Operating Costs in their Category

1.  One Aviation Eclipse 550 (VLJ), $900/hr.

2.  Cessna Citation M2 (small-cabin/light jet), $1,395/hr.

3.  Bombardier Learjet 70 (midsize-cabin jet), $2,166/hr. 6

4.  Gulfstream 200 (super-midsize-cabin jet), $3,113/hr.

5.  Dassault Falcon 2000LX (large-cabin jet), $3,090/hr.

6.  Gulfstream 550 (ultra-long-range/heavy jet), $4,731/hr.

7.  Boeing BBJ (bizliner), $6,851/hr. 

8.  Quest Kodiak (single-engine turboprop), $599

9.  Reims-Cessna 406 Caravan II (twin-engine turboprop), $965

10.  Robinson R66 (light single-turbine helicopter), $445

11.  Bell 206LT (light twin-turbine helicopter), $933

12.  Airbus Helicopters H145 (medium twin-turbine helicopter), $1,306

13.  Agusta/Westland AW139 (large twin-turbine helicopter) $2,134


Source: Conklin & de Decker, Orleans, Massachusetts

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9 Great Waterfront Bike Routes

1.  American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, California. Trail runs for 32 miles through protected habitat.

2.  Burke-Gillman Trail, Seattle. Running through parks and leafy neighborhoods along Pontiac Bay, this 20-mile trail is a centerpiece of Seattle’s 90 miles of signed bike routes.

3.  Great Miami River Bikeway, Dayton, Ohio. Riverfront 20-mile route is the crown jewel of the U.S.'s largest municipal biking network.

4.  Lakefront Trail, Chicago. Multiuse pathway runs 18 miles along Lake Michigan waterfront, through parks and past beaches, athletic fields, marinas, museums, and downtown. 

5.  Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, New York. Waterfront 32-mile bike route passes world-renowned landmarks.

6.  The Green Ring, Copenhagen, Denmark. The 20-mile route from Island Brygge to downtown Copenhagen passes through parks, green space, and gem-like lakes. 

7.  The Old and New Dutch Architecture Route, Amsterdam, Holland. Twenty-mile route through Europe’s most bicycle-friendly city wends along canals and past a medieval castle.

—James Wynbrandt

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