By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Where are the most selfie-obsessed places on the planet? Makati City outside Manila in the Philippines has been dubbed the selfie capital of the world by Time magazine, which also ranked the Disney dominated Anaheim-Santa Ana area as fourth. Sorry, Angelenos, Los Angeles didn't make it in the top 100.
Selfie-takers number 258 per 100,000 people in metropolitan Manila, according to a recent database the magazine made of Instagram users who tagged the arm-extended self-portraits #selfie and included geographic data.
Time ranked 100 "selfiest" cities, which includes California cities San Francisco (11), Riverside (35), Sacramento (76), San Diego (82) and San Jose (91).
After Makati City, the top 10 cities are:
2. New York City 3. Miami 4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif. 5. Petaing Jaya, Malaysia 6. Tel Aviv 7. Manchester, England 8. Milan, Italy 9. Cebu City, Philippines 10. George Town, Malaysia
Some of the rankings are more than perplexing: Boston (13) over Paris (17)? Leeds in Engand (19) over...
How to take a white-water trip through the Grand Canyon without getting wet: Stay home and click on Google's Street View of the classic 286-mile ride on the Colorado River. It's red-rock heaven all the way, with pull-offs that scramble up side canyons too, in the latest take-you-there visuals debuting Thursday (today) on Google Maps.
Google's take-you-there 360-degree Street Views (no, they aren't changing the name to "river views") have captured major landmarks like the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris as well as five national parks in California.
For the river run, Google last August partnered with the nonprofit organization American Rivers which has deemed the Colorado the most endangered river in America. The nonprofit hopes the project will raise awareness about the river and need to better manage water supplies.
Google also worked with commercial outfitter Arizona River Runnersto make the extraordinary journey from Lee's...
Las Vegas is the No. 1 destination for spring break in the West followed by L.A. and Phoenix, according to bookings at Hotwire. For college kids and adults who want to be where the crowds are, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, the Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur offer entertainment extras with stays through June.
Go online to Spring Break Unleashed and browse the "available dates" calendar for each hotel-casino to find the cheapest nights. Midweek is the best time to go; rooms shoot up to more than double on weekends.
The uber-budget crowd should head to Excalibur where rooms start at $35 a night (I found that price available March 30-April 2) plus $20 nightly resort fee. Extras include 20% off a Sea Salt Glow spa treatment and 2-for-1 beer and $5 drinks at Dick's Last Resort.
At MGM Grand, rooms run as low as $85 to $90 a night plus $28 nightly resort fee. The fun factor here is free entry to the hotel's Wet Republic poolside party Mondays through Thursdays. Guests also score a $25 drink credit at...
Hawaiian Airlines will debut nonstop daily service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG) on May 2, a month earlier than scheduled, because of "robust demand," the airline said in a statement Wednesday. It also will add a second daily flight on the route for summer.
The year-round daily service on Airbus 330s between L.A. and the Hawaiian island had originally been scheduled to begin on June 1. Flights from L.A. leave at 11:15 a.m. and arrive at 1:40 p.m.; return flights will depart Maui at 3:40 p.m. and arrive in L.A. at 11:55 p.m.
A second daily flight to Maui will operate from June 30 to Sept. 8. It leaves L.A. at 1:30 p.m. and arrives in Maui at 4:05 p.m. The return flight leaves Maui at 9:40 p.m. and arrives in L.A. at 5:55 a.m. The seasonal flights will operate on Boeing 767-300 planes.
I checked ticket availability online for the new service in mid-May and found $365 airfares each way. The airline also showed L.A.-Honolulu fares for $587...
Angelenos, you wasted 64 hours in traffic last year, according to the recent report by INRIX of Kirkland, Wash. So what’s a traffic-trapped driver to do besides fume? Daydream a little (although you need to pay attention in stop and go) about places you’d rather be. Need some ideas? Here are seven places that can take the sting out of being stopped.
By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Families seeking a spring break escape with pool time, hiking, cycling, old school games and s'mores but have no time to plan should look for vacation packages with with built-in fun. Here are five in the West that fit the bill.
Deal 1: The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colo., offers a destination amid the Rocky Mountains with lots of kid fun stuff. The Spring Break Getaway package includes free movie tickets to the on-site movie theater, 15% off bowling lane rentals, 15% off some stores, a free fitness class (for one person) and kids younger than 10 eat free with a paying adult. And it has a AAA five-diamond rating too.
I found availability for a three-night stay starting March 28 for $260 a night in a room that accommodates two adults and two children; prices don't include tax. The deal is good through May 18.
Massachusetts travel outfitter Great Freedom Adventures has created a new summer tour that combines two pastimes: cycling and beer tasting, though not necessarily at the same time. The Maritime Bike and Beer Adventure Tour spends six days exploring Boston's North Shore and Cape Ann.
The coastal journey begins and ends in Ipswich, about 30 miles from Boston. By day, cyclists tour sea captains' mansions, museums, galleries, marshlands and beaches in the fishing towns of Gloucester, Salem, Rockport, Newburyport and Essex.
In the evenings, there are stops at breweries to sample craft beers such as locally made brands Fisherman's and Ipswich Ale, which made the list of Wine Spectator magazine's top 10 beers in the world. There's also a kayak paddle of the Essex River Basin and a visit to a fire tower in a coastal salt marsh.
When: The tour runs June 15-20 and Aug. 17-22.
Price: $2,450 per person, double occupancy. It includes lodging, most meals, bicycles and helmets, guides, van support,...
Go to India, not Nepal, for the best mountain experience, and to South Georgia Island, not Antarctica, for the best polar trip. And to Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada because it's "freakishly perfect for just about every pursuit."
So says Outside magazine, which recently announced 2014 Travel Awards that focus on places with a big adrenaline kick — and outfitters that will take you there.
The list is compiled by editors and writers, not readers, in a "best of" format that distills winners and runners-up into a neat, tantalizing paragraph each.
Only at Disneyland would they tear down an old and dilapidated gold mining town in order to build a new and identical gold mining town and make it look old and dilapidated again.
"The goal was to bring it back to exactly the way it was," said David Smith of Disneyland's facilities and maintenance department, which oversaw the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster rehabilitation project.
The "wildest ride in the wilderness" is expected to reopen to the general public on March 17 after a 14-month rehabilitation, the most extensive overhaul since the ride opened in 1979.
Except for one key scene, the ride won't look any different to the casual observer -- and that's the point.
So much of the Disneyland experience is about passing along generational experiences -- parents and grandparents reliving their childhood memories with their offspring. To that end, Disneyland set out to make the refreshed ride look and feel exactly like it did for...
The California Coastal National Monument runs the length of the state and is filled with offshore islands, reefs and rocks -- until now. President Obama on Tuesday will add 1,665 onshore acres near Mendocino to the parkland said to be the most viewed but least recognized of U.S. national monuments.
Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, as the new area is known, will receive added federal protection for a stretch of breathtaking shoreline north of Port Arena. Locals who campaigned to beef up the federal parkland hope to stimulate tourism to the area.
"This is now going to be part of the national monument — the only land-based gateway to the coastal monument," Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "I think that's a big deal."
The original national monument protects a zone that extends 12 miles out to sea and wildlife such as seals and sea lions as well as seabirds.
Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger Mary Forgione likes to hit the dirt when she's on vacation. An avid hiker and runner, Mary likes speed-touring cities on foot and sightseeing by running marathons.