Book of Lists 2018
11 Things a Veteran Travel Writer Has Learned
1. Bring cash. For foreign destinations, order small amounts of local currency from your bank before you go so you’ll have money for incidentals when you arrive.
2. Nurture your hotel loyalty programs. They’ll treat you well even when airline programs won’t.
3. Enroll in Global Entry. It’s the international traveler’s best friend, and it gets you virtually guaranteed TSA PreCheck in the U.S.
4. Some things aren’t where you’d expect. It’s easier to find good French bread in New York than in Paris.
5. Paper has its place. A phone GPS is a gift of God, but an old-fashioned folding map is awfully useful in a foreign city.
6. Have a late lunch in Italy. Go ahead and make that dinner reservation for 7:30 in Rome, but you’re not going to get your dinner till 9.
7. You may need Google Translate. Try as you might, some French words are simply unpronounceable.
8. Buckle up. On a business jet, do know how to fasten that extra shoulder harness for emergencies. Trust me on this one.
9. Your rental car may be as foreign as your surroundings. Before you drive off in it, consult the manual for how the dashboard controls work because nothing is standard and intuitive—knobs and dials are a thing of the past.
10. Skip that swim. Beach-party movies notwithstanding, the Pacific Ocean is too cold for swimming till you get south of La Paz.
11. Crossing the street can be dangerous. You may be adept at driving on the left side of the road, but you should force yourself to look to the right before stepping off a London curb.
10 Towns with Revolutionary War Battlefields Worth a Visit
1. Concord, Massachusetts. Where it all started.
2. Princeton, New Jersey. Preservation efforts are ongoing.
3. Fort Ticonderoga, New York. Well-restored historic fort.
4. Hubbardton, Vermont. Beautiful site in the hills.
5. Saratoga, New York. The entire battlefield has been preserved.
6. Monmouth, New Jersey. The last battle in the North.
7. Cowpens, South Carolina. A small but great American victory in a rural setting.
8. King’s Mountain, South Carolina. Hike the mountain where British troops were trapped.
9. Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina. The great battle of the South.
12 Special Occasions You Might Not Celebrate
1. Squirrel Appreciation Day (January 21)
2. Gum Disease Awareness Month (February)
3. Self-injury Awareness Day (March 1)
4. National Ex-spouse Day (April 14)
5. Bed Bug Awareness Week (April 20–26)
6. Ultraviolet Awareness Month (May)
7. Ball Point Pen Day (June 10)
8. National Fresh Breath Day (August 6)
9. National Passport Awareness Month (September)
10. National Punctuation Day (September 24)
11. National Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop Day (third Monday in October)
8 Great Multigenerational Vacation Spots
1. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The Waterpark Capital of the World offers scenic Wisconsin River cruises, amusement parks, museums, and live entertainment, plus Circus World in nearby Baraboo.
2. Hershey, Pennsylvania. Discover all things chocolate at Hershey’s Chocolate World, ride 14 roller coasters at Hersheypark, and take in the Hershey Story Museum and ZooAmerica.
3. Walt Disney World, Florida. With four theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, on-site resort accommodations, and the Disney Springs shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, children and adults find plenty of options.
4. Williamsburg, Virginia. After learning about American history at Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, head for Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Virginia’s largest outlet mall.
5. Black Hills, South Dakota. The Wild West delivers family fun with Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial, gold panning, mine tours, unparalleled natural beauty, buffalo sightings, and cave exploration.
6. St. Augustine, Florida. Start with Castillo de San Marcos, the Colonial Quarter, and Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park to bring this 400-year-old city into focus and then take in St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, and Potter’s Wax Museum.
7. San Antonio, Texas. Explore 300 years of history at the Alamo and UNESCO-designated missions, stroll along River Walk, and enjoy SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
8. New Orleans. Experience the French Quarter, take a riverboat cruise, see the Audubon Aquarium of the Americans and Audubon Zoo, and take a streetcar to see the mansions along St. Charles Street.
3 Memorable Golf Museums
1. British Golf Museum, Edinburgh, Scotland. Some 16,000 historical objects, including the sport’s oldest golf balls, fashioned of feathers, are housed a chip shot from the first tee at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
2. USGA Museum, Far Hills, New Jersey. Peruse rooms devoted to such American golfing stars as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and compete on the museum’s 16,000-square-foot putting course.
3. World Golf Hall of Fame, St. Augustine, Florida. Watch championship highlights in the Hall of Fame’s Member Locker Room, test your skill on an 18-hole putting course, and tee off on a replica of the 17th hole island green at nearby TPC Sawgrass.
10 Hotels Used as Film Sites
1. Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, Florida. The pool scene in Brian de Palma’s Scarface as well as parts of Dreamgirls and the James Bond classic Goldfinger were filmed here.
2. Waldorf-Astoria, New York. This Art Deco midtown hotel was used in dozens of movies, including Scent of a Woman, Coming to America, Alfie, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Analyze This.
3. The Plaza, New York. This century-old hotel, which overlooks Central Park, shows up in Sleepless in Seattle, The Great Gatsby, Arthur, Annie Hall, and Bride Wars.
4. Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles. This historical hotel appears in numerous movies, including Ghostbusters, Cruel Intentions, Beverly Hills Cop, The Sting, and Chinatown.
5. Timberline Lodge, Timberline, Oregon. The hotel, on the south slope of Mt. Hood, has served as a filming location for several movies, most notably Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
6. Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles. Inspired by a historical French chateau, the hotel was most recently featured in La La Land.
7. Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan. The hotel, built in 1887, is the backdrop for Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer.
8. The Park Hyatt Tokyo. This hotel, which boasts views of the city and Mt. Fuji, is featured in Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.
9. The Dolder Grand, Zurich, Switzerland. You can see this hotel—which offers city, lake, and mountain views—in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
10. Hotel Le Meurice, Paris. Decorated in the ornate Louis XVI style, this hotel served as the filming location for several movies, including Midnight in Paris, Is Paris Burning?, and Diplomacy.
5 Eco-Thrill Ziplines
1. Whistler Zipline Tours, Whistler, British Columbia. Choose from five heart-pounding descents through the pristine Canadian Rockies, including the 7,000-foot Sasquatch ride.
2. Zipline Canopy Tours over 11 Waterfalls, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The three-hour experience includes 25 ziplines and the opportunity to swim in a spring-fed mountain pool.
3. Catalina Island Eco Zipline Tour, Catalina Island, California. The two-hour, five-zipline descent incorporates lectures about island history, ecology, and wildlife during stops on its three-quarter-mile drop from canyon rim to ocean beach.
4. Queenstown Zipline Tour, Queenstown, New Zealand. Go tame, with a two-hour ride fit for children, or get a bird’s-eye view of the snow-capped Southern Alps rimming Lake Wakatipu while braving six treehouse-to-treehouse runs that reach speeds of 40 mph.
5. Kapalua Ziplines, Maui, Hawaii. Five-, six-, and seven-zipline options include a rainforest ATV ride, a scenic canyon crossing on a 360-foot suspension walking bridge, and a pineapple snack.
10 American Symphony Orchestras Worth a Visit
1. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Marin Alsop.
2. Boston Symphony Orchestra. The “Aristocrat of Orchestras.”
3. Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Famous for its brass.
4. The Cleveland Orchestra. Still great.
5. Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The terrific Texas ensemble.
6. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. See Gustavo Dudamel!
7. New York Philharmonic. Orchestra of Mahler, Toscanini, and Bernstein.
8. The Philadelphia Orchestra. Famous for its strings.
9. San Francisco Symphony. Last two years for Michael Tilson Thomas.
10 Spectacular Movie Palaces
1. TLC (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese, Hollywood, California. Opened in 1927, it was renovated in 2013 with an IMAX screen.
2. Radio City Music Hall, New York. Now a 6,000-seat venue for concerts and, of course, the annual Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes, it opened in Rockefeller Center in 1932.
3. Loew’s Jersey, Jersey City, New Jersey. Opened in 1929 as one of the five Loew’s Wonder Theatres, it now hosts arts and cinema programs, sometimes with accompaniment from a renovated Morton Wonder pipe organ.
4. The Senator, Baltimore. One of the last of the traditional movie palaces, this landmark was renovated in 2013 for movies and special events.
5. Fox, Atlanta. Now a 4,600-seat concert venue, it opened in 1929 with an “Arabian courtyard” interior architectural theme and its famed “Mighty Mo” pipe organ.
6. Castro, San Francisco. Opened in 1922, this theatre is today known for film festivals and its state-of-the-art film-projection and sound systems.
7. Tampa Theatre, Tampa. Opened in 1926, advertising opulent air conditioning, this Florida venue today features independent and foreign movies and documentaries—and its Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ.
8. The Chicago Theatre, Chicago. One of the earliest and most opulent movie palaces, it opened in 1921 and is now a performing-arts center.
9. The Kentucky Theatre, Lexington, Kentucky. Opened in 1922 and still operating as a movie theater, it has long been considered one of the South’s most beautiful movie palaces.
10. Connor Palace, Cleveland. A former vaudeville theater opened in 1922 on the B.K. Keith national vaudeville circuit, it remains the centerpiece of the city’s famed Playhouse Square performing-arts district.
15 Underappreciated Folk/Rock Acts (and Recommended CDs)
1. Love (Forever Changes). Arthur Lee’s late ’60s/early ’70s outfit garnered a cult following—but not the deserved wide audience—with its inimitable blend of folk, rock, jazz, classical, and psychedelia.
2. Elliott Murphy (Lost Generation/Nightlights). Rave reviews in the early ’70s failed to produce big sales but that hasn’t stopped this Long Islander-turned-Parisian from releasing dozens of great records in subsequent decades.
3. Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez (Let’s Leave This Town). Magic resulted when Taylor—author of radio staples ranging from “Wild Thing” to “Angel of the Morning”—teamed up with fiddler/vocalist Rodriguez from about 2001 to 2007.
4. Greg Brown (If I Had Known: Essential Recordings, 1980–1996). The gravelly voiced Iowa folk artist garnered attention for appearances on Prairie Home Companion but not nearly as much as this national treasure deserves.
5. Eric Andersen (The Cologne Concert). Folksinger Andersen is renowned for his often-covered 1960s classics, “Thirsty Boots” and “Violets of Dawn,” but his romantic lesser-heard later work is even better.
6. Fred Neil (The Many Sides of Fred Neil). You probably know Nilsson’s cover of his “Everybody’s Talkin’” but not his own recordings, which are a treat.
7. Tim Buckley (Happy Sad). Tim Buckley—who died tragically and young, like his more famous son, Jeff—released enough fantastic folk/jazz/rock albums to make picking a favorite difficult.
8. John Phillips (John Phillips). Phillips achieved wide success as leader of the Mamas and Papas but his best solo work didn’t get the audience it merited.
9. Michael Fracasso (A Pocketful of Rain). On folk/pop songs like “All or Nothing,” the Austin, Texas–based Fracasso takes you to places you can’t get to any other way.
11. Shack (H.M.S. Fable). This retro-rock group, whose apparent influences range from Love to the Beatles to Pink Floyd, record only sporadically, but when they do, the results can be spectacular.
12. World Party (Goodbye Jumbo). Led by ex-Waterboys member Karl Wallinger, this Beatles-influenced group serve up one well-hooked gem after another on 1990’s overlooked Goodbye Jumbo.
13. Andy Pratt (Resolution). Pratt had an FM radio presence in the early 1970s with a song called “Avenging Annie,” but the intimate, emotional, and little-known Resolution is his best work.
14. Jimmy LaFave (Trail, five vols.). Covers of dozens of Dylan tracks—everything from “Positively 4th Street” to “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” to “Oh, Sister”—suggest that LaFave may be the best of Bob’s hundreds of interpreters.
15. Tom Russell (The Long Way Around). Tom Russell has been making great, adventurous folk records for decades, and this 1997 sampler is bound to leave you wondering why he isn’t world famous.
6 Places to Celebrate National Carousel Day (July 25)
1. Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Unattached to the floor, the flying horses here have been spinning counterclockwise since 1876.
2. Berkeley, California. Ride a menagerie of animals, including a sea monster, at Tilden Park Merry Go Round in the hills above the East Bay.
3. Binghamton, New York. Known as the “Carousel Capital of the World,” this city and neighboring Endicott and Johnson City are home to six historic carousels.
4. Washington, D.C. Once a traveling attraction, the canvas-topped carousel on the National Mall features horses four abreast and a sea dragon.
5. Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica Pier Carousel, a century-old Looff Hippodrome that’s on the National Historic Register, no longer houses a Charles I.D. Looff carousel, but merrily spins a classic Philadelphia Toboggan Company design.
5 Best American Oyster Bars
1. Union Oyster House, Boston. The semi-circular bar by the streetside front window has been serving local oysters since the days of Daniel Webster, who dispatched them by the half dozen with brandy and a tumbler of water
2. Grand Central Oyster Bar, New York. The expansive daily oyster menu offers a wide range of flavor profiles, drawing from a seasonally changing master list of more than 250 oyster farms in 12 states and four countries.
3. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco. Only 18 seats at the counter and impeccably pristine and simply prepared oysters, clams, crab, scallops, shrimp, and smoked fish make for long lines but supremely satisfied diners.
4. Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, Maine. On ice in a massive chunk of hollowed-out Maine granite built into the bar await a dozen local varieties and about half as many oysters “from away.”
5. Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Washington, D.C. Select from East and West Coast varieties, including the “house” oyster, the Chincoteague-grown Old Black Salt, a plump, buttery bivalve that delivers on the last word in its name.
6 Northern California 2014 Cabs Worth Their $125+ Prices
1. Ridge Monte Bello ($200). This succulent blend of 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 18 percent Merlot, 5 percent Cabernet Franc, and 2 percent Petit Verdot comes from a vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
2. Etude ($125). This wine from Rutherford delivers all the power and finesse you’d expect, exhibiting great body, elegance, and depth.
3. Dalla Valle ($140). Smooth, delectable, almost creamy, this Oakville creation is a joy to drink.
4. Provenance Fortitude ($225). Produced from grapes from a combination of stellar vineyards, Fortitude is super smooth and silky.
5. Groth Cabernet Reserve ($135). This wine offers exemplary balance and mouthfeel and would be perfect with a ribeye.
11 Unusual Yoga Options
1. Yoga with goats, Vail Stables, Vail, Colorado. Let the little kids nibble your heels and climb all over you as you do downward dog.
2. Stand-up paddleboard yoga, Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas. Yoga in the center of a lake.
3. Naked yoga, Shangri La Ranch, New River, Arizona. Work out like the ancient Greeks, unencumbered by clothes.
4. Stoned yoga, 420 Yoga Retreats, Denver. Get high with free joints and “go with your own flow” followed by s’mores by a campfire.
5. Get-wet yoga, Niagara Falls, New York. Namaste Niagra, a summer series operated by Niagara Parks, lets you do yoga at the base of powerful Horseshoe Falls.
6. Kitten yoga, CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida. You bring the mat, they supply the kittens that roam freely in hopes of finding families.
7. Beer yoga, Collective Brewing Project, Fort Worth. Do yoga in the taproom followed by an alcoholic beverage of your choice.
8. Yoga and shoeing, Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, Canandaigua, New York. Yogis snow shoe around the lodge, and incorporate yoga moves in an activity they call “snow-ga.”
9. Yoga and margaritas, El Pinto Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico. “YogaRitas” are served between two Sunday yoga classes.
10. Mountaintop sunrise yoga, Bend, Oregon. Chopper via Big Mountain Heli Tours to a snow-capped, 10,000-foot mountain peak for sunrise yoga.
3 Expensive Beers
2. Samuel Adams Utopias ($199/bottle). Released every two years, this potent beer has an alcohol content of 28 percent.
7 Hotels That Began as Something Else
1. The High Line Hotel, New York. Originally student housing for the General Theological Seminary.
2. NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans. Named for its original use as the office of New Orleans Public Service Inc., where locals paid electric and water bills.
3. Magnolia Hotel, Denver. This historical building served as a First National Bank starting in 1911.
4. Jail Hill Inn, Galena, Illinois. A county jail for nearly 100 years.
5. The Ski Tip Lodge, Keystone, Colorado. In the 1880s, it was a stagecoach stop.
6. Mission Point, Mackinac Island, Michigan. A former Protestant church camp.
6 Vacation Destinations for the Record Books
1. Smallest country. The 110-acre Vatican City, with a population of about 1,000, is the world’s smallest country.
2. Biggest waterfall. Although billed as the world’s largest waterfall, Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls aren’t the highest or widest; but they do have a higher flow rate than their closest competitors, Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls.
3. Happiest nation. According to a 2018 United Nations–sponsored report, Finland ranked as the “world’s happiest country.”
5. Narrowest street. Located in the German town of Reutlingen, 12-foot-long Spreuerhofstrasse Street, built in 1727, is only a claustrophobic one foot wide at its narrowest point and 19 inches at its widest.
8 Films That Feature Airports
1. Casablanca (1942). This classic’s airport scenes were shot at Van Nuys Airport, formerly known as Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport.
2. Bullitt (1968). The final confrontation between the bad guys and Steve McQueen takes place in San Francisco International Airport.
3. Airport (1970). The film, which is set at the fictitious Lincoln Airport, was made at Minneapolis-St. Paul International and features a Boeing 707-348 that was leased to Universal Pictures.
4. Airplane (1980). This spoof of disaster movies was partially filmed at Long Beach [California] Airport, which was meant to resemble Chicago O’Hare.
5. A Fish Called Wanda (1988). This farce features London’s Heathrow Airport and a British Airways Boeing 747-236.
6. Catch Me If You Can (2002). The famous scene of Leonardo DiCaprio surrounded by young stewardesses was filmed at the old Ontario, California airport terminal, which has since been converted to office space.
7. The Terminal (2004). This Tom Hanks film used Montreal-Mirabel International Airport for runway and other exterior scenes.
8 Hotels with Literary Connections
1. Raffles Hotel, Singapore. Since it opened in 1887, Raffles has been home to countless writers who wanted to capture the essence of the Far East.
2. Gran Hotel La Perla, Pamplona, Spain. This Ernest Hemingway favorite has reportedly kept his suite as it was when he stayed there.
3. Circus-Circus, Las Vegas. “The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war,” wrote Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
4. The Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand. Joseph Conrad wrestled with his plots—and malaria—in this hotel, which has suites named after literary guests such as Noel Coward, James A. Michener, and W. Somerset Maugham and a restaurant named for Conrad’s Lord Jim.
5. L’Hôtel d’Alsace, Paris. Suite 16 is still standing—complete with the infamous green peacock wallpaper that prompted Oscar Wilde to say, “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”
6. Hotel Continental, Saigon, Vietnam. Graham Greene’s The Quiet American features Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel but the novelist supposedly wrote much of it on the terrace at Hotel Continental Saigon.
7. Brown’s Hotel, London. Rudyard Kipling honeymooned here and wrote The Jungle Book in the suite—now priced at $7,000 a night—that bears his name; Brown’s is also said to be the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s At Bertram’s Hotel.
12 of Spain’s Most Outrageous Festivals
1. Fiesta De San Antón, Madrid (January). Thousands pack the street outside little San Antón Church to receive blessings from the patron saint of animals for pythons, iguanas, macaws, sheep, horses, cows, and, once, a black panther.
2. La Endiablada, Almonacid del Marquesado, Castilla-La Mancha (February). Often said to be Spain’s oldest celebration, this four-day fiesta of manic noise, colors, and garish costume evokes the “brotherhood of the devils.”
3. Parade of Drummers, Baena, Cordoba (Easter). The mindboggling din from 2,000 drummers literally playing until their fingers bleed is enough to make the plains of Cordoba tremble.
4. Setmana Medieval, Montblanc, Tarragona (April). Ancient Montblanc steps back in time for a week of medieval parades, parties, and theatre performances, plus barbecued meat by the ton and free-flowing wine.
5. El Rocío, Huelva province (May). Tiny El Rocío (population 700) is invaded annually by almost a million people—many arriving on horseback and even in oxen-carts—who turn the dusty streets into a frantic, and friendly, version of Dodge City.
6. Battle of the Wine, Haro, La Rioja (June). The sleepy little town of Haro is painted red during La Batalla del Vino, a wine battle featuring wineskins, pump-action water guns, and—in the past—even the water tankers of the fire brigade.
7. Coffin Parade, Las Nieves, Galicia (July). People who’ve had a close shave with death during the previous year go for a joyride around the village in their own coffins in an event that also includes plenty of wine, Galician food, and lively dancing.
8. Gypsy Horse Races, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Cadiz (August). The gypsy horse races on the beach, which officially started in 1845, are free to attend and the party in Sanlucar—with flamenco and vino—is not to be missed.
9. Fiesta Del Charco, La Aldea de San Nicolás, Gran Canaria (September). Thousands of people dash fully clothed into el charco—a huge beach-side pond—where they capture fish that are then cooked on the beach.
10. Moors & Christians, El Campello, Alicante (October). The emphasis is more on partying than historical accuracy when El Campello hosts reenactments of ancient battles between Christians, clad as medieval knights, and Moors, who often look like cross-dressing leather fetishists.
11. Fiesta of Smoke, Arnedillo, La Rioja (November). A threatened black plague epidemic that was supposedly averted by smoke gave birth to this celebration, in which villagers jump through bonfires.
12. Festival of Pranksters, Ibi, Alicante (December). Ibi celebrates Spain’s version of April Fool’s Day with a celebration in which 14 men take over the town, pronounce ridiculous laws, and stipulate fines (which raise funds for charity), after which villagers mount a rebellion with eggs and flour (often fired out of fire extinguishers).
8 Ultralight Travel Items
1. Ricardo Malibu Bay. Sixteen-inch under-seat rolling tote with telescoping handle weighs just 4.4 pounds.
2. M.R.K.T. (Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger). Durable briefcases and totes weigh less than a pound.
3. LectroFan Micro. Choose the sound of the ocean, five fan sounds, or four white-noise variations with this minuscule machine.
4. Ride Safer Travel Vest. Easy-to-assemble child-restraint, certified for motor-vehicle use, is an ultralight alternative to car seats.
5. Primus Lite shoe. A featherweight sneaker, so thin and lean you can fold it in half.
6. Peak Design Capture camera clip. Clip this quick-release 2.5-ounce camera gadget to your belt for grab-it shooting.
7. Everyday 5 Sling. This unisex waterproof sling/fanny pack, perfect for hiking and biking, weighs just over a pound.
10 of Europe’s Best Ski Towns
1. Zermatt, Switzerland. Car-free, and a drop-dead view of the Matterhorn.
2. Crans-Montana, Switzerland. On a sun-drenched plateau above the Rhone Valley.
3. St. Moritz, Switzerland. Super-posh town where Winter Olympics have been held twice.
4. St. Anton, Austria. A snowy paradise complete with Tyrolean costumes.
5. Kitzbühel, Austria. Enough snow to ski 180 days per year.
6. Chamonix-Mont Blanc, France. Plenty of terrain for everyone, including families.
7. Courchevel, France. Skiing plus snowboarding and snowmobiling.
8. Val d’Isere, France. Epic powder skiing and home to the French National Ski School.
9. Courmayeur, Italy. Bring your passport and ski over the border to Chamonix, France.
5 Bad Past Predictions about Aviation
1. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” —Lord Kelvin, mathematician and physicist, 1895
2. “The flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to 10 million years.” —New York Times editorial, 1903
3. “I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for 50 years.” —Wilbur Wright, 1908
4. “Even if a [flying] machine could get across [the Atlantic] with one or two passengers, the expense would be prohibitive to any but the capitalist who could own his own yacht.” —William H. Pickering, astronomer, 1910
5. “In 50 years, vertical takeoff and landing will have become a standard operating system, passenger flight at Mach 4 will be routine, and interplanetary travel will be established.” —A.D. Baxter, Royal Aeronautical Society president, 1966
4 Wild Recent Predictions about Aviation
1. “Most of what people consider to be long-distance trips [such as New York to London] could be completed in less than half-an-hour.” —Elon Musk
2. “In 25 years, zero-carbon travel may be a reality.” —David Barger, CEO, JetBlue Airways
3. “I have no doubt that during my lifetime we will be able to fly from London to Sydney in under two hours, with minimal environmental impact.” —Sir Richard Branson
4. “I bet that in 10 years, commercial short-haul flights will transport 50 passengers at a time in fully electric carriers.” —Bertrand Piccard, chairman, @solarimpulse Foundation
12 Best Dude Ranches
1. Eatons’ Ranch, Wolf, Wyoming. This quintessential rustic dude ranch has operated for over 135 years in the scenic Bighorn Mountains.
2. Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Arizona. This luxury adobe-style ranch, ideal for winter getaways, offers trail rides through the Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park, and Coronado National Forest.
3. Estancia Ranquilco, Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the foothills of the Andes, guests discover Patagonia’s steppes, valleys, meadows, and cliffs while absorbing traditional gaucho culture.
4. Burrawang West Station, New South Wales, Australia. Stay in the outback, in one of four boutique lodges at a functioning sheep and cattle station.
5. The Home Ranch, Clark, Colorado. The state’s only Relais & Chateaux dude ranch is also an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge, on 580 acres in the sweeping Elk River Valley.
6. El Rancho de Ferrer, Granada, Spain. Once an abandoned village, this high-end guest ranch features horseback rides on old mule trails in the lower Alpujarras, with the Sierra Nevada mountains as the backdrop.
7. Rancho Las Casadas, San Agustin Buenavista, Mexico. Enjoy a horseback-riding and wellness vacation in an opulent resort setting.
8. Beaumont Ranch, Grandview, Texas. Historic Chisholm Trail runs through this 800-acre ranch (less than an hour from Dallas), which features an 1880s Western town, cowboys, and herds of longhorn cattle.
9. The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch, Shell, Wyoming. This upscale working ranch offers an ideal destination for visitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park.
10. The Ranch at Siwash Lake, British Columbia, Canada. In the remote foothills of the Caribou Mountains, this ranch pairs lavish, safari-inspired “glamping” tents with rolling grasslands and forests.
11. Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This secluded luxury year-round destination offers log cabins and all-inclusive fine food and seasonal ranch adventures.
12. Clear Creek Guest Ranch, Burnsville, North Carolina. Surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest, guests saddle up for rides in the Smoky Mountains near Asheville and enjoy Southern hospitality with a Western vibe. [Editor's note: After the print version of Book of Lists went to press, we learned that this ranch has closed.]
6 of the Oldest New York City Pubs
1. Fraunces Tavern (1762). Manhattan’s oldest surviving building was a headquarters for George Washington.
2. Ear Inn (1817). It was home to James Brown, an African aide during the Revolutionary War.
3. McSorley’s Old Ale House (1854). Everyone from Abe Lincoln to John Lennon have passed through the swinging doors.
4. Pete’s Tavern (1864). This Gramercy Park landmark is still selling its original House Ale, the same brew it served to O. Henry.
5. Landmark Tavern (1868). When Prohibition arrived, the third floor of this Irish waterfront saloon became a speakeasy.
9 Travel Books That BJT Columnist Joe Sharkey Would Save in a House Fire
1. To the Ends of the Earth: The Selected Travels of Paul Theroux (1994). Trenchant mid-career writings by a great American travel journalist.
2. The Road to Oxiana, by Robert Byron (1937). An engaging, eccentric diary from the author’s 1933–34 journey through the Middle East.
3. Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crash Pads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet, by Heather Poole (2012). This flight attendant’s memoir had me at her opening line: “Okay, where’s the crazy? That’s what I wonder every time I board a flight in my flammable navy blue polyester.”
4. Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1400). This seminal opus shows that Middle English can soar above some of today’s often-dismal travel writing.
5. In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson (2000). A hilarious and heartfelt ode to Australia.
6. Around the World in 72 Days: The Race Between Pulitzer’s Nellie Bly and Cosmopolitan’s Elizabeth Bisland, by Jason Marks (1999). A true story: two journalists compete in 1889 to circle the globe faster than the fictitious Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.
7. Travels with Charley in Search of America, by John Steinbeck (1962). A man and his dog take an epic road trip, before the U.S. Interstate Highway System eroded so many regional differences.
8. A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solnit (2015). I sometimes got lost on a journey through Solnit’s elegiac meditations on traveling into the unknown literally and intellectually, but it’s a trip to savor.
9. Innocents Abroad: The New Pilgrims’ Progress, by Mark Twain (1869). The great humorist’s irreverent, original observations on Europe and the Holy Land.
4 of the Worst Investment Moves of the Last Half-Century
1. Selling 10 percent of Apple. Two weeks after founding Apple with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, Ronald Wayne sold his 10 percent share of the company for $800. Today that share would be worth nearly $100 billion.
2. Merging Time Warner with AOL. After this 2000 merger, the company lost $99 billion, which cost Ted Turner a reported $8 billion.
3. Trusting Bernie Madoff. His decades-long Ponzi scheme bilked investors out of estimated $30 billion.
4. Buying Enron stock. After massive debts and fraud crippled Enron, which Fortune Magazine once called “America’s most innovative company,” it collapsed in 2001, ultimately costing shareholders $74 billion.
4 of the World’s Best Investments
1. Apple. A $990 investment when the company went public in 1980 would be worth more than $400,000 today.
2. Exxon Mobil. Between 1926 and 2016, it has created $1 trillion worth of wealth and produced an annualized return to shareholders of 11.9 percent.
3. Mickey Mantle trading card. In early 2018, a mint-condition Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card—originally bought for pennies—sold for more than $3 million, making it the most valuable trading card ever.
4. Buffett’s cola. Since 1988, when Warren Buffett bought shares in Coca-Cola, his stock has risen about 1,350 percent, excluding dividends, which now total almost $600 million annually.
10 Busiest U.S. Business Aviation Airports (2017 Departures)
1. Teterboro (KTEB), Teterboro, New Jersey (74,277).
2. Westchester County (KHPN), White Plains, New York (35,189).
3. Dallas Love Field (KDAL), Dallas (34,973).
4. Washington Dulles International (KIAD), Herndon, Virginia (30,550).
5. William P. Hobby International (KHOU), Houston (29,434).
6. McCarran International (KLAS), Las Vegas (29,424).
7. Palm Beach International (KPBI), Palm Beach, Florida (27,781).
8. Van Nuys (KVNY), Van Nuys, California (27,060).
9. Dekalb-Peachtree (KPDK), Atlanta (26,673).
3 Ski Museums Worth a Visit
1. Norwegian Ski Museum, Morgedahl, Norway. Visitors witness a spectacular multimedia presentation of the history of skiing and the special role this quiet Norwegian valley, often called “the Mecca of Skiing,” has played in the sport’s development.
2. Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, Stowe, Vermont. With more than 8,000 items on exhibit, this jam-packed museum explores the role Vermont has played in skiing and snowboarding history.
3. Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum, Vail, Colorado. From the town’s first skiers, who were gold miners and mail carriers, to the famed WWII Tenth Mountain Division skiers, to today’s snowboarders, this cozy, newly renovated city-center museum traces the history of skiing out west.
10 Coolest Hotel Kids’ Clubs
1. Battle Mountain Kids’ Camp, the Sebastian-Vail, Vail, Colorado. Field trips, science projects, crafts, cooking classes and babysitters.
2. Pink Sands Club, Canouan, Grenadines Island. Kids go to an outdoor drive-in theatre in a golf cart.
3. Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, Switzerland. Children get their own dining room with cloth napkins and tablecloths.
4. Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Arusha, Santzania. Kids learn bush skills, beading, and Swahili from Maasai warriors.
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Greater Antilles. Young ones learn to snorkel and try a seafloor submarine adventure.
6. Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri. A 50,000-square-foot Fun Mountain with bowling, bumper cars, and treehouses.
7. The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort, Charleston, South Carolina. Private movie theatre, crab races, and shark-tooth hunts.
8. Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort, Runaway Bay, Jamaica. Kids pick a song and lay down a track in a recording studio.
9. Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, Anguilla. Children go coconut bowling, try out Mermaid School, and paint shells.
10. Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Cancun, Mexico. Kids make piñatas, paint pottery, and take Spanish lessons.
5 Meanings of BJT
1. Baltic Juice Terminal. A facility in Latvia used to transport frozen orange juice.
2. Bipolar Junction Transistor. A transistor that employs both electronic and hole charge carriers. (Don’t ask us what that means.)
3. Black Jewels Trilogy. A series of dark fantasy novels.
4. Bilateral Juxtafoveal Telangiectasis. An eye condition.