Reasons to Visit Yellowstone National Park in Winter

Home to a great collection of geothermal features, an abundance of wildlife, the most spectacular views and a thick blanket of snow – Yellowstone National Park in winter is an adventurer’s dream.

Plus, there’s less visitors – so you get to experience the true beauty of the park without the crowds!

So, if you’re brave enough to face the cold, windy and snowy days during the months of November through to April, you’re in a for a treat.

If you’re not quite convinced on experiencing a Yellowstone National Park winter, national park located in the western United States, here’s a few reasons why you should.

10 reasons to visit Yellowstone National Park in winter

Yellowstone in winter is a true wonderland.

Here’s why:

1.      The snowy landscapes and geysers

The wintery landscapes in Yellowstone National Park are absolutely breathtaking! From the steam rising up from the geysers and hot springs to the bison trekking through the snow and the frozen streams.

Old Faithful, the nearly 500-year-old geyser in the park, continues to erupt. In winter, the near-boiling water hits the chilly air and falls down in tiny icy crystals and flakes. Watching the geysers erupt against the backdrop of the snow and stunningly blue skies is a sight to behold.

Yellowstone in winter - the geysers
Witness the Yellowstone geysers in winter.

2.      The winter activities

According to the locals, the best way to experience Yellowstone in winter is on a pair of cross-country skis! From cross-country skiing to snowshoeing – there’s plenty of adrenaline pumping winter-based activities to explore in the area.

You’ll find several places nearby who rent gear and several companies specialising in guided trips if you’d rather not go out alone (this is recommend unless you’re extremely experienced in navigating the snowy hills).

3.      Snowmobiling

In mid-December, many of the roads in the park are only open to oversnow travel, meaning that visitors may only enter the park via snowmobile, snowcoach, snowshoe and cross-country ski.

West Yellowstone offers 400 miles of snowmobiling terrain outside Yellowstone National Park on national forest service land. It’s a snowmobilers paradise, with loads of tour companies taking you into the park on the snowmobiles. The terrain caters to all levels, from beginners to experts.

4.      The wildlife

The Yellowstone National Park in winter is still home to a variety of wildlife. The less-crowded park means that you’ll get to observe the wildlife facing the elements of winter without hoards of other tourists surrounding you.

Against the snowy background, the animals are also much easier to spot and you can easily track them in the snow. Expect to see bison, elk, river otters, wolves and other Yellowstone National Park animals.

Plus, you’ll get to see the bison in their winter coats! Huge balls of snow dangle on their beards, making them look even more impressive.

5.      The cozy lodges in Yellowstone National Park

There’s nothing better than curling up on a sofa with a hot drink (or whiskey), a good book, a crackling fireplace nearby and view of a snowy landscape outside. That’s ultimate relaxation, right?

This is exactly what you’ll get when you visit Yellowstone in winter. Note that not all lodges stay open during the winter months (and due to COVID restrictions, a few more might be closed this year). Best is to check out the full list of Yellowstone accommodation to see what is available.

6.      The quiet, peaceful solitude

Not many people visit Yellowstone in winter, which means that you get to truly experience the natural beauty completely on your own. In the winter, the park is nothing but miles of peaceful solitude in the wilderness.

It’s the perfect winter escape if you want to disconnect from humans, unplug your laptop and switch off your phone.

And since the park is primarily accessed via guided oversnow transport, you get experience Yellowstone’s canyons, woods, wildlife and hydrothermal forces in a much more intimate way.

7.      The Yellowstone holiday traditions

If you love the traditions that come with the holidays, then you’ll still get to experience the magic of the season in Yellowstone. Some of the popular traditions include candlelight Christmas Eve services in the Mammoth Chapel, tree lighting on Officer’s Row and festive Christmas dinners held at the local lodges.

If you’re in the area for New Years, then you’ll get to ring in the new year at Old Faithful, where everyone heads out to the geyser viewing area shortly after midnight to watch the first eruption of the year.

8.      Practice your snow photography

With so much natural scenery around you, Yellowstone in winter is an ideal spot to practice your snow photography skills.

The landscapes are filled with contrasts – from clear blue skies to snowy fields, steamy geysers and woolly animals. You can shoot these images on your own or join one of the guide-led photo safaris on offer.

9.      Witness the star-filled night sky

Yellowstone comes alive at night – from the parks most well-known creatures coming out to play to the star-filled sky lighting up the land.

To witness this spectacular scene, you need to join one of the nighttime snowcoach tours. The tours take you past the hissing geysers and passing wildlife and eventually stops for you to get out and witness the beauty above you. The countless stars on display will leave you in awe.

10.  Take a dip in a hot spring

This one is for the true adrenaline junkies, or the people who just want to say ‘I took in a dip in a hot spring in below zero degrees’.

The naturally heated waters of the hot springs won’t freeze, even during the coldest of winters. Which leaves for a fun opportunity to take a dip any time of year! The water is so warm, that no matter how cold it is outside, you’ll be so comfortable that you won’t want to get out.

Look out for the spot where the Boiling River meets the Gardner River, about two miles north of Mammoth. This is a popular swimming spot during the summer months but is sparsely visited in the winter months – making it one of the more unique experiences of a Yellowstone National Park winter.

Ready to start planning your adventure in Yellowstone National Park in winter?


The Best American-Style Barbeque In Australia

Are you a lover of meat?

Does it make you salivate with the thought of slow-roasted beef or
dripping pork ribs?

This list is bound to make you very hungry and happy then!

We took the time to put together a list of restaurants in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and
Adelaide where you can get the best American barbeque.

They specialize in a range of southern
BBQ items from pulled pork, spareribs to fall apart brisket that will give a run for their money to
any BBQ restaurant in the American South.

Here are our favorite American-Style BBQ in Australia

Barbecue Bluebonnet and Loretta’s – Melbourne

The décor is what you would describe as American junkyard chic in this barbeque joint, tucked into the corner of a pub, worn plank doors serve as tables and rusty old power pole bits act as light fittings.

The food, meanwhile is epic. Various smoked meats are texturally perfect, and the meat comes in100g portion like most barbeque places.

The meat is not cheap, but with huge portions of the best sides in town, such as beetroot, barley and dill salad, giant deep-fried McClure’s pickles, miso-sweet Brussels sprouts, or apple, red cabbage and kohlrabi slaw.

Bring friends, when you have a large group to split and conquer, it works best here.

American BBQ Low and Slow – Adelaide

From their food truck days, Low and Slow has come a long way now they are based in the buzzy Port Adelaide.

Their menu includes ribs that have developed a cult, plus beef brisket, pulled pork and the standout in our eyes: hot wings with blue cheese sauce.

They are cooking beef like pros here. So if you’re unable to choose, order a banquet. You’ll get to try all the meats and a variety of down-home Southern sides at $35 per person.

Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint – Melbourne

The true American vibe of Fancy Hank’s nails is better than almost any venue in Melbourne.

Most people will be here for a great barbeque, and we can tell these guys to nail it after testing a lot of smokehouses around town. You can also get specialty cocktail tops and cocktail jugs.

The other drawcard here is the abundance of outdoor space on the open rooftop or on the huge balcony overlooking the markets, among the greenery of the courtyard.

Vic’s Market Meat – Sydney

At the Sydney Fish Market, fourth-generation butcher Anthony Puharich has opened a two-part venture (butcher shoppe and sandwich shoppe).

In rich smoky shreds, cut with a vinegary coleslaw, their pulled pork sandwich falls apart while the brisket is fatty and tender.

Not into gluten? They also provide options for smoked meat and side salads, so you can feel at least five percent healthy while ordering.

Old Faithful Bar & BBQ – Perth

Step into Old Faithful’s rustic interior and get ready for some quality American BBQ.

All the meats here are prepared and smoked in-house; rubbed with an expert blend of spices that try to taste the buds. Pick up some of their belly from the pig, ribs, beef brisket, or tasty chicken wings.

A must-have is their watermelon salad with jalapeño and lime cream. Is there room for dessert yet? Old Faithful got s’mores, a stout banana cream pie, and a honeycomb mudcake.

The Winston – Tasmania

The Winston is also where Hobart’s best barbeque is to be found.

In Baltimore, co-owner Caroline Kiehne was born and raised and her influence is evident in the diner-style menu.

All excellent are the pit beef sandwiches, Buffalo wings and baby back ribs. From jalapeno poppers to pecan pie and Maryland-spiced blue swimmer crab, daily specials vary. It’s done exceptionally well with serious comfort food.

Up In Smoke -Melbourne

We always start with dessert, specifically the banana cream pie at Footscray’s American barbeque restaurant. Once you’ve had that, it’s all about the barbeque, a $20,000 barbeque that sits behind a glass window like a jewel.

The menu is full of by burgers, salads, sandwiches and tasty snackettes, and the smoked meats come out to play when the clock hits 6pm. A happy pile of sweet pulled pork, a pleasantly hefty jalapeno-and-cheddar sausage and shimmering beef brisket slices with a hint of smoke and a nice layer of fat.

So, say goodbye to your onion that is charred.

Sure, Australia has our own very distinct barbeque traditions, but Aussies are coming around to the Southern style of doing things all over the country so make sure you check out some of these places when you visit Australia!


Why You Should Visit Murcia, Spain

Located on the Mediterranean coast, the vibrant city of Murcia truly comes alive with the help of its lively architectural heritage and energetic cultural atmosphere.

Although it’s a lesser-known city of Spain, there are a number of memorable things to do in Murcia, things to see and several Murcia attractions that will prove that this city really is one of Spain’s most underrated gems.

So, why visit Murcia?

Here’s a few reasons…

Murcia beach, Spain
Murcia beach, Spain

Top reasons to visit Murcia, Spain

Your authentic Spanish experience begins now … and thankfully it comes without the usual tourist crowds. 

The beautiful Murcia beaches 

For those of you that consider yourselves to be sunshine lovers, you’ll be happy to know that Murcia experiences over 3000 hours of sunshine every single year. What’s better is that one of the main Murcia attractions is, without a doubt, its picturesque beaches.

Combine the glorious sunshine of Murcia with its unspoiled sands and refreshing turquoise waters and you have officially located paradise. 

With the glistening city sharing its glorious sunlight with you, meandering through the Cape Palos peninsular is a definite sun worshipper’s dream. For those looking for a picturesque leisurely walk, strolling through Cala Cerrada and Calarreona promises exceptional panoramic views of the shoreline.

If you have time, we also thoroughly suggest visiting the southern part of Costa Blanca that is delicately dotted with a number of energetic and colourful towns. Whilst there, make sure to head over to Torre de la Horadada where a number of quaint beaches await you.

The culinary delights

For all the foodies at heart, Murcia truly is your culinary haven

This city, with its labyrinthine streets, is heavily populated with a number of high-end dining experiences, Michelin-star restaurants and lively tapas bars that will tantalise those tastebuds. 

For those of you looking for a more authentic eating experience, you will appreciate that the city of Murcia also offers a number of local ‘holes-in-the-wall’ and cafes that serve traditional delicacies and dishes. From seafood stews and paella to old-style chorizo and fried squid, you’ll know that your food has been prepared following authentic generational family recipes. 

In short: homemade Spanish foods truly are a genuine Murcia attraction!

Now for some name-dropping!

If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to sampling all the food Murcia has to offer, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered! We suggest heading out to Plaza de Las Flores. This square has a variety of diverse food selections that will appease even the pickiest of eaters. While you’re there, you have to try one of Murcia’s traditional pies at Zaher bar. Make sure to order your pie with one of their local ciders … you won’t regret it! And if you have a serious hankering for seafood, courtesy of the local nearby harbours, La Tapa restaurant is where you’ll want to be.

The vibrant villages

If you currently have a list of things to see in Murcia, your itinerary isn’t complete unless you have ‘visit local villages’ on it.

In a city where no one is ever rushed (note: it did take them 330 years to build their cathedral), you can see how their continued patience and dedication to exceptional detail has contributed to their picturesque villages. Known, and adored, for the whitewashed buildings that line the rugged hillsides, Murcia’s quaint and cobbled streets are just another charming attraction on offer.

One of the things you have to see in Murcia is the Ricote Valley journey from Archena to Blanca. This truly is where mother nature shows off with the help of her bold cliffs, luscious lemon groves and crystal-clear waters. But her visual riches don’t end there. Murcia also has historical beauties including its castles that can be found along Alamha, Mula and Lorca where their ancient charm and ruins remain intact. 

The main takeaway here: bring your camera and a few portable batteries – you’re going to need them!

The fresh produce

There may be a number of things to see in Murcia, but there are also a number of things that you have to taste too! And well, to the delight of many, Murcia has done away with the intrusive fast-food chains (you’ll actually have to search for a McDonalds) and embraced wholesome and fresh eating experiences instead. 

All of your culinary expeditions in Murcia will prove one thing: this sun-drenched city produces unimaginable amounts of fresh produce. In fact, picture your local food market back home and increase its size by 20 … that’s North and West Murcia for you!

Murcia’s agricultural lands offer locals an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. From oranges to lemons, tomatoes and lettuce, it truly is an agricultural utopia. For this reason, many locals have even referred to the lush and giving lands of Murcia as La Huerta de Europa, which translates to The Market Garden of Europe!

The many Murcia attractions

When it comes to finding things to do in Murcia, you are in for quite the selection. First up? Water activities. With warm waters that run along the Mediterranean, visitors to the city’s shoreline will be able to explore their more adventurous side, with windsurfing, jet skiing and water-skiing being on offer. 

For those of you that prefer the water from a safe distance, you will appreciate the conservational areas, including the Tenerife which is a must-visit of the Murcia attractions. You can also head straight for the natural parklands and follow the pine-scented walking trails or get your heart racing through the rosemary lined hiking trails of the Santuario de la Fuensanta that will feature perfectly on your current Instagram page. 

When it comes to finding things to do in Murcia, just know that this city is quite the show-off. If you are looking to experience exceptional natural beauty, taste authentic cuisine and take in various historical wonders – Murcia is the place to be!

Reggia di Caserta: A Hidden Gem of Italy

When traveling to the southern half of Italy there are many sights to see.

You might want to soak up the sun off of the Amalfi Coast, visit the ghost town of Pompeii, or even see the volcano that caused its dismay from the Bay of Naples in the bustling city.

But, what if I told you that some of the best sights are off the beaten path that previous tourists have paved? A great example of this is a palace hidden away in southern Italy. Most people know it as “the place they filmed Star Wars”, but there is so much more to it than that!

Reggia di Caserta: The Hidden Gem

Nestled away in a small town named Caserta is the Reggia di Caserta, which translates to Royal Palace of Caserta in English.

Caserta lies in the Campania region of Italy, and is located less than an hour from the city of Naples. This region is best known for its rugged coastlines and rich historic sights, which the place is no exception to.

Reggia di Caserta began its construction in 1752 by Charles VII of Naples. The palace wasn’t finished until the 1800’s when his son decided to take over and complete the lifelong project. The finished product came with 5 floors, 1,200 rooms, and a 120 hectares long park.

Today, the palace is recognized as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. This means that the palace has cultural significance to the country and the citizens that live here.

So, why should you visit Reggia di Caserta?

  • Next, you get to explore the 120-hectares of fountains and shrubbery that extend behind the palace. You will find locals jogging along the reflecting pools, getting in their daily workout. You will also find families having picnics among the luscious grass and hedges.

    As you explore the land behind the palace it will become clear that Reggia di Caserta is a place where residences of the town like to spend their day. The beauty of this space holds something for all ages; shade for adults to relax and a small play castle for children to exhaust their imagination!

    At the very back of the park you will find the fountain of Diana and Acteon. This fountain beautifully illustrates the Roman tale of the two, and adds to the magical element of the palace.

  • I have a secret tip for you! Above this grand fountain you will see a tower sitting atop of the cascading water. If you are lucky, the stairs to the tower will be open; which are located to the right and left of the Diana and Acteon sculptures. If you are one of the lucky ones to make the ascend, you will see the Palace from above; just as Luigi Vanvitelli meant for those to see his completed work.
  • Another thing to check out is the English Garden. After walking to the very back of the park you will notice a path to your right. This path leads to the botanical garden which houses plants and flowers from around the world, beautiful sculptures, and hidden waterfalls.

    You can walk around and see the actual ruins of Pompeii that were transported to the 24-hectare garden, just adding to its beauty. Stop and take a walk through the Cryptoporticus, which is masterfully replicated to look like a Pompeiian ruin.

    If you are looking for a place to rest, take a seat next to the Bath of Venus. Admire the statue of Venus as she dips into the pond, and take in the breathtaking waterfall while kicking back and relaxing.

  • So, I talked about what there is to do in the daytime at the palace, but what about in the evening? At night, the palace shuts its doors to everyone, the business is closed for another day. But, the square welcomes locals and visitors to mingle on the grounds.

    Many nights I would sit at the square with my friend, drinking wine and eating food, while talking to the other locals. We would light sparklers and set off paper lanterns, it truly was magical! 

    At night, the palace is lit up every color you can imagine, even the colors of the Italian flag!

Overall, Reggia di Caserta is a sight that most travelers do not know about. It is a hidden gem nestled in a town that is a sight to see itself.

When traveling it’s important to see the sights you want, but it’s also amazing to see the sights many do not know about!


What to Expect on Your Visit to New York City

 

New York, New York. What a wonderful and busy city it is. It should be on your bucket list and you have to visit it at least once in a lifetime. It has a little bit of everything to offer both locals and tourists, which is why we are going to share with you some of our best tips and options you should see during your trip.

 

Lady Liberty, best known as the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a part of the city’s skyline. Located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is a national monument that represents a mixture of emotions that Americans lived like financial barriers they overcame, the many struggles and hardships experienced by inmigrants, and being freed from tyranny and the end of the 19th century.

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people as their way to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration Independence. It is elemental that you visit Lady Liberty at least once when you are in the city, and you can get all your Statue of Liberty ferry information to know what time slots are available and which ferry terminal works best for your trip. You can either pick Battery Park that goes to and from New York, or Liberty State Park that goes out from New Jersey.

To actually get up close to the Statue of Liberty, you will have to book a round-trip ticket to and from Liberty Island. You can also book a tour that includes to go inside the Statue, and a a different option to go up the Crown.

 

Ellis Island, the Immigration Museum and the Hospital 

Although a stop at Ellis Island is included with your round-trip ticket to Lady Liberty, it is necessary that we highlight the importance of taking the time to visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which was once an active immigration station and received thousands of immigrants daily arriving to America in search of a better life. And those immigrants summed up to over 12 million people that came to America between 1892 and 1954.

To the current date, descendants of the many immigrants that walked through those gates account for nearly half of the American people today. The museum receives around 3 millions visitors from all over the world every year.

There is also a hard hat tour option to visit the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital which was operative from 1902 to 1951. The facility was built in several phases, and it functioned as a general hospital to treat minor cases like colds and pregnant women in labor, and there a separate pavilion-style for those diseases that were highly contagious. The visit is worth every penny. However, you must take into account that people with mobility issues will not be able to enjoy the tour since the hospital is unrestored and there are several obstacles and sharp objects on the ground. It also has an age limitation from 13 and up.

 

A Visit to Coney Island

A visit to Coney Island is like going back to the past, where you can spend time on the beach and enjoy old-timey charms, like a nice ice cream cone, and a ride on the notorious Cyclone roller coaster. It is a beautiful place to visit and you should include it on your list of places to see. A fun fact about Coney Island is that there used to be an elephant shaped building named the Elephant Colossus, which was a major tourist attraction and it was the first thing immigrants would see upon arrival at the New York Harbor.

 

Take A Walk Through Central Park 

Central Park is in the middle of New York and has a total of 693 acres of man-made forests, meadows, gardens, and rolling hillsides. There are also several monuments, bridges, sculptures, fountains, and even arches. 21 playgrounds, a zoo, a castle, and even an entire zoo are also a part of the park. It is hard to believe that all of this is part of such a big and busy city, but it is a major part of it and it is worth to spend some time in this large and beautiful park.

 

9/11 Memorial and Museum 

The museum stands in honor of the brave men and women that worked so hard on 9/11, and it also pays an homage the loss, both spiritual and physical of Americans and people worldwide. Once you enter you will go down from the busy streets to the bedrock level – which are the foundations of where the Twin Towers used to stand on – and are still placed in a somewhat meditative mindset – that will take you back and most likely make you remember were you were on that specific day.

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For more than a century and a half, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been the cultural center of New York City, and most likely the United States itself. This is thanks to the forward-thinking temporary exhibits and a wide and extensive permanent collection as well. The building itself is a sight to see, with its Gothic-Revival style building with iconic tiered steps – that you may recognize from a movie or two – and strategically located near Central Park. It will take you breath away without a doubt.

These are just a few of our favorite places that should be included to your trip to the Big Apple. And of course you can’t miss out on the wide variety of restaurants, cafes, pizza places, hot dog stands, and so many more options. Both local and international cuisines, there is something for everyone to enjoy; you can choose from a food cart on the street up to a fancy reservation at the Plaza Hotel – which has to be booked in advance.

New York City and its surroundings is such a unique and wonderful place to visit at least once in a lifetime. Keep in mind that it is a very big city and it may take a couple of visits to cover these highlights and more.

The post What to Expect on Your Visit to New York City appeared first on Wandering Earl.

Video: Interview With Top United Airlines Exec Andrew Nocella at Skift Aviation Forum 🔒

Skift

United Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella. Skift

Skift Take: United is optimistic that even the most-struggling sectors like corporate travel will eventually return. But the airline will continue to play it safe with capacity cuts until the positive impact of a vaccine fully resonates throughout the broader economy.

— Cameron Sperance

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6 Questions for Airlines Iconoclast Gordon Bethune on the State of the Industry

Skift

Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune. Skift

Skift Take: As airlines continue to plan their rebound strategies from the global coronavirus pandemic, the legendary Gordon Bethune, an expert in turning things around, sees a difficult yet promising future ahead for airplanes and commercial travel.

— Ruthy Muñoz

Read the Complete Story On Skift

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