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All the Travel-Worthy Locations Where ‘The Batman’ Is Filming




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How to Enjoy the Best of Banff Without the Crowds


Banff feels bigger than an ordinary resort town. Situated just over an hour west of Calgary, Alberta, the eastern side of Banff wraps around Tunnel Mountain, whose ridgeline resembles the profile of a sleeping buffalo. The Stoney Nakoda First Nation, one of many tribes with thousands of years of history in this area, calls the mountain Sacred Buffalo Guardian. It acts as sentinel over the waters, herbs and medicines that grow below it.

And that greater sense of the mountains being very much alive is indisputable. An energetic force that also runs through the water ,trees and wildlife connects you to the jagged spires and limestone walls of the Canadian Rockies. Towering peaks that have stood for more than 50 million years make you feel at once invigorated and diminished.

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Hiking under the Canadian Rockies at Sentinel Pass. Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Jake Dyson

The powerful landscape’s ability to inspire both interconnection and humility also fuels a huge amount of visitation. More than 4 million people from around the world visit Banff and surrounding Banff National Park each year. They come to tap into this energy, and to see the alpine lakes, expansive glaciers and steaming hot springs that make this 2,500-square-mile park a much-deserving UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the summer, hiking trails can resemble lines at Disneyland, and famous vistas are overrun by shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit Banff; it’s just a matter of timing your visit so you can hike, bike, climb, and more, without the overwhelming crowds.

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The incredible colors of Banff’s alpine lakes draw millions of visitors, but time your visit right and there are still opportunities for (near) solitude. Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Jake Dyson

Plan a visit for late October/early November during the Banff Mountain Film Festival, a 45-year-old celebration of mountain culture that showcases over 100 films each year and includes panels and workshops with professional athletes like Sasha DiGiulian and legendary adventurers like Reinhold Messner. Many attendees have been coming to the festival for 20 or 30 years, and the enthusiasm for the outdoors is palpable and contagious. Buy your passes early – premiere events sell out early and eager patrons line up an hour or more in advance to get seats.

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The Banff Centre, home of the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Banff Lake Louise Tourism

The festival takes place at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, a modern campus tucked into the side of Tunnel Mountain and walking distance from downtown Banff. Spend the mornings adventuring outside and then settle in for the evening’s films to get pumped up for the next day of exploration.

This time of year can run the full gamut of weather: One day you might be hiking in short sleeves, the next you’re donning a snow jacket. But with an open mind, weather shifts provide spontaneity and variety. Surrender to what the weather has in store, and embrace whichever activities the elements allow.

A great way to explore the park is with a mountain guide. Banff was the first place to bring the Swiss Mountain Guide tradition to North America back in 1899. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s Mountain Heritage Program pays tribute to these guides, and offers half- and full-day excursions throughout the park. Depending on the weather, guides can take you hiking into the alpine, canoeing on Lake Louise or stargazing via snowshoe.

Lake Louise Sunrise
A freshly frozen Lake Louise. Visit at sunrise for rare tranquility at this world-famous site. Gabriela Aoun

If you can swing it, stay a night or two at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, to enjoy its otherworldly location overlooking the piercing turquoise waters of Lake Louise. When the glaciers above Lake Louise melt in the spring, the water feeds the lake and deposits glacier silt that gives it an electric teal hue.

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The location of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise can’t be beat, but if you can’t stay here, at least make sure you make a day trip to enjoy the lake and hike nearby trails. Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka

Early November is often the perfect time to walk or even skate on Lake Louise — as the temperatures drop below freezing but snow has not yet covered the lake’s surface. It’s also a great time to hike popular trails like Lake Agnes or Plain of Six Glaciers without crowds. Both trailheads begin at the lake and climb into the mountainside for dramatic overhead views.

If the Fairmont is out of reach, grab a room at Moose Hotel and Suites, an unpretentious, reasonably priced 4-star hotel in Banff. It’s walking distance from everything in town and features a rooftop hot pool with mountain views that can be enjoyed year round.

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Walk on glaciers along the Icefields Parkway, connecting Banff and Jasper National Parks. Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Mike Seehagel

You’ll want to rent a car so as not to miss some other must-sees, like the Icefields Parkway that connects Banff to Jasper National Park and passes more than 100 glaciers, or to descend into part of the longest cave system in Canada, at Canmore Caves. Animal lovers might venture out of the park to visit the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, although you’re sure to see plenty of wildlife no matter what, including elk, bighorn sheep, and maybe even a grizzly bear.

Make sure you don’t miss a hike through Johnston Canyon, where waterfalls freeze in the late fall, and cascading water is suspended as ice that reaches down into a river, where crystal-clear water rushes under thick layers of ice.

Rock climbers from beginner to advanced can link up with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures for guided climbing trips, and those who want to gain more distance than elevation can rent fat bikes from outfitter Snowtips-Backtrax to ride on lakeside roads closed to cars in the winter.

 

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As snow starts to cover Banff in late fall, fat biking is a great way to explore. Banff Lake Louise/Jeff Barlett

There are plenty of worthy food options in Banff, many of which are affordable and feature vegan and vegetarian options. For breakfast, try Touloulou’s for heaping portions of Canadian-Creole (it’s a thing) or Juniper Bistro to enjoy dramatic views and a cozy fireplace. Vegans will appreciate Nourish’s plant-based comfort food for lunch, and at dinnertime Bear Street Tavern boasts 11 creative pizzas (“The Three Pigs” includes pulled pork, smoked bacon and pork belly), while Park Distillery offers free distillery tours before a flannel-clad server brings you house-made cornbread and a bison burger.

Park Distilery
Come for the drinks, stay for the food at Park Distillery. Banff Lake Louise/Hendrickson

There is more to do in Banff than you’ll be able to fit into one trip, and so don’t focus too much on checking things off your itinerary. As you pass through town, look up at the Sleeping Buffalo, and just let yourself feel the spirit of a place that will always be bigger than the crowds who flock to it.

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A peaceful skate on Lake Minnewanka. Banff Lake Louise/Paul Zizka


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Visit Any National Park for Free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020


The new year always takes some adjustment. Now that the holiday dust has settled, job duties (hopefully) back on track, maybe even sticking to some resolutions, it’s time to plan some travel. If getting outdoors is a 2020 priority, we’ve got some great news: This upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 20), all entrance fees for every single national park will be waived.

As the National Park Service (NPS) does every year, it designates a handful of days throughout the year as “fee-free” days to all visitors. There are 419 National Park Service sites, and 110 of them charge an entrance fee (which ranges from $5 to $35). The free entry is a great excuse to get outside and explore “America’s Best Idea.

“Across the country, more than 400 national parks preserve significant natural and cultural areas, each one an important piece of our national identity and heritage,” says National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela. “Free entrance days serve as additional motivation for people to get outside and enjoy these places of inspiration and recreation.”

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Photo: Courtesy of Saketh Garuda/Unsplash

And given that schools are out, and many businesses shut down for the holiday, chances are you have some free time to take advantage of this offer. From hiking to waterfalls in Yosemite, to wallowing in the wonder of Canyonlands’ arches, we can’t think of a better way to spend a day off.

Here’s the full list of all the fee-free days in 2020:

– Monday, January 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
– Saturday, April 18: First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
– Tuesday, August 25: National Park Service Birthday
– Saturday, September 26: National Public Lands Day
– Wednesday, November 11: Veterans Day

*You can also see the full list of participating national parks here.

If having more outdoor adventures was a new year’s resolution, go visit a nearby national park this Monday. Check out the National Park Service website for full details.


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25+ Cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her


You have very little to next to no money. That’s fine! Who can afford to have money in this economy? Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day approaches, and if you have someone special in your life, she’ll likely not take too kindly to you overlooking the holiday altogether. So here are 27 gifts for her you can purchase that don’t cost a bunch. In fact, all of them are less than $25. Pair them with some flowers or a nice dinner reservation (speaking of, make that reservation now) or a home-cooked meal, and it’ll be a memorable night for you both. After all, true love doesn’t have to mean going broke.



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Anthony Bourdain’s New Book Will Be Released October 20


Hey New York: Meet Anthony Bourdain + Eric Ripert at Williams-Sonoma Columbus Circle

Owen HoffmannGetty Images

A year and a half after Anthony Bourdain’s death and we’re still getting little pieces of his life. There were all the stories about him shared by his friends that we hadn’t heard before, and then an auction that gave us a look at the stuff he’d really treasured, like a Tom Ford suit and a meteorite knife. And soon, we’ll have something from Bourdain himself: a travel book written much in his own words, with the gaps filled in by his assistant Laurie Woolever, who also co-wrote his last cookbook, Appetites.

‘World Travel: An Irreverent Guide’

People reports that Bourdain began this travel book, called World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, before he died by suicide in 2018, with Woolever finishing it up so that it was ready for its October 13, 2020, release. (It’s available for pre-order now.) In a release Woolever said, “I was lucky to work closely with Tony for nearly a decade, and I’m so pleased to be able to share his reflections and insights about the world, as he saw it, in this guide.”

And because Bourdain depended upon his friends to show him around their corners of the world—Iggy Pop in Miami, José Andrés in Spain, Alison Moshart in Nashville—this book will continue the tradition, with Woolever’s contributions supplemented with essays written by people who knew him better than us, like his brother Chris. Each chapter will start with a sketch from cartoonist Tony Millionaire, like the one you can see on the cover of Bourdain hanging at Café de la Mairie in Paris. As for the places, the book’s description teases portion on Paris, Buenos Aires, Oman, Tanzania, and New York City (just like that last legendary episode of Parts Unknown in the Lower East Side) with advice on what to do and where to eat.

So, your standard travel guide, only supported by the witticisms, crippling sarcasm, and as the title teases, irreverent attitude that made Bourdain a much more engaging TV host and world traveler than the rest. World Travel: An Irreverent Guide ought to be a worthy supplement to re-re-rewatching old episodes of Parts Unknown, as it’s one more collection of wisdom from the man who wandered more of this earth than we can ever hope to and who said profound shit like, “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”



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PS5 New Specs, Rumors, and Release Details


The console wars are on, motherfuckers. Microsoft has its Smart Car-sized new Xbox all set to release for Holiday 2020, so you know what that means—Sony will be unveiling some high-powered competition of its own around the same time. Unlike the Xbox Series X, which is one X away from sounding like an adult video service, the PlayStation people have opted for a much sleeker, much simpler name. PS5. Sony recently unveiled its new logo for the upcoming console. Whereas every new Nintendo product comes with at least twelve new colorful logos, Sony decided once again to keep things uniform. It looks just like the logo for the PS4. And the PS3. But this time, it’s a bit rounder. Take that, Microsoft.

While we don’t have official images of the new box yet, we have gotten confirmation on a few key details. It’s going to debut in the same timeframe as the new Xbox. The specs inside the console blow the PS4 out of the water. It’s going to have backwards compatibility. And Sony won’t be showing it off at the E3 gaming conference this summer. Beyond those stray bits of info, we don’t really know too much else about the mysterious new PS5 console, but here’s a rundown of everything we do.

It’s a powerhouse under the hood.

3D audio. 8K graphics. A lightning-fast solid state drive. Like the Xbox Series X, the biggest draw of a new console is the stupefying tech specs. Nintendo has long relied on its crafty first-party games to fill its new consoles with long-lasting life. Sony and Microsoft, while purveyors of some huge first-party games of their own, have always put more emphasis on the industry-leading technology inside their machines. The PS5 will be replacing the hard drive of the PS4 with a solid state drive, which means faster—or even nonexistent—load times. In a Wired interview with Sony lead system architect Mark Cerny, a demo of Insomniac’s Spider-Man was said to load up in .8 seconds, compared to the 15 seconds it takes on the PS4. That’s fast as hell.

The hardware inside the console may sound like a bunch of gibberish to you, but based on how excited everybody seems about it, the PS5 looks to be packing some major firepower. Wired reports, “The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments.” All of this means 8K video resolution—if for some reason you have a TV that can support it—superior visual quality, and better audio, too. Like, so good, it’s never been heard from a console before.

There’s no word about the games, but there will be games.

Backwards compatibility has become a pretty heated subject with these new consoles. Some companies have opted to make players pay monthly subscription prices to enjoy older games, while others, like Microsoft, are promising that multiple generations of video games will be ready-to-play on their new consoles right out of the box. It’s not clear how, exactly, the PS5 will handle backwards compatibility. At least, for PS4 games. Mark Cerny said in the Wired interview that backwards compatibility will happen on the PS5. Which means we’ll have a lot of games to start with, when the console debuts in 2020. But beyond that, we don’t really know what the hell we’re going to be playing on the PS5. You’d expect a game like Marvel’s Avengers by Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics—which was pushed back to later into 2020—to just premiere on the PS5 instead of the PS4. But that hasn’t been made clear just yet. Hopefully we get a new Crash Bandicoot, at least.

The PS4 UI is getting a neat overhaul.

One really fascinating detail that Cerny revealed in the Wired interview was about “joinable activities.” It sounds like the PS5 is going to be changing how we get into online video games, making for a much quicker, more efficient way to hop right on and start playing. You’ll be able to join games right off the home screen of the PS5. No more loading up Fortnite, jumping through a bunch of hoops to get into the Squad Battle Royale mode, waiting for the matchmaking to situate you into a game—according to Cerny, that’ll all happen in the background (somehow). He said there will be a “joinable activities in real time.”

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A PS4 controller.

Alex PantlingGetty Images

New console, new controller.

The new PS5 DualShock controller will have a “voice-driven AI assistant.” That’s not the only new function of the updated controller, though. It will also have a Mountain Dew™ soda dispenser and a physical sniper scope for elevated gaming experiences!! (Just kidding.) Wired reported that the controller will have more complex haptic feedback, in addition to triggers with programmable tension, to make a “machine gun feel far different from a shotgun.” Sony recently debuted a back peripheral for its PS4 controller, which adds two new buttons to the DualShock. It seems safe to predict that the PS5 controller will incorporate these buttons right out of the box as well.

Since Sony’s not showing up at E3, we don’t know exactly when we’re going to be getting more information. But it better be soon–the console is coming out this holiday season, and my gamer family is starving. Hopefully, more PS5 info will be announced alongside a Spider-Man sequel. I’d buy the new console just to play that.



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The Best Warm-Weather Winter Vacations to Escape the Cold






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The Best Ways to Explore the Off-Season in Newport, Rhode Island


In many ways, tourists are the lifeblood of coastal towns the likes of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and the Hamptons. When the mercury swells, tourists descend on hot spots, eager to belly-up to a bar brimming with sun-scorched, wind-blown locals. Come winter, most of these eateries and hotels are shuttered. But for a city like Newport, Rhode Island, the shoulder season offers travelers a way to explore the destination like a local, which is to say sans crowds.

You won’t be able to make the most of Newport’s inimitable sailing scene, but you can spend the weekend ogling Gilded Age mansions; feasting at local haunts (fireside espresso martinis, anyone?); and cherry-picking activities by interest, whether that’s perusing the International Tennis Hall of Fame, trying your hand at a mixology class, or ice skating on a waterfront rink. Use our travel guide to make the most of your time in the City by the Sea.

Hotel Viking
Courtesy Image

Where to Stay

Hotel Viking is an attractive option if you want moderately priced accommodations that put you within walking distance of many attractions, bars, and restaurants. Situated in the Historic Hill neighborhood, Hotel Viking dates back to 1926, as a hotel for guests attending soirees at neighboring mansions. Its guestrooms are appointed with period-inspired flourishes—some sporting cherry wardrobes and gilded mirrors reminiscent of opulent manor homes, while others have more modern color palates and rich textures relative to the Progressive Era. While the rooftop (Top of Newport Bar & Kitchen) is closed in the winter—and offers one of the best vantage points—highlights include afternoon tea service in the in-house restaurant One Bellevue and a Thai body ritual or massage in Spa Fjör.

If you want something a little more upscale, book a stay at Gurneys Newport Resort & Marina nestled on Goat Island, surrounded by Narragansett Bay. While it lacks some of the character of more historic lodgings, the modern, airy accommodation is a stone’s throw away from the cobblestoned wharves nearby. Forty 1° North is a modern boutique hotel with its own private marina. It offers high-tech amenities such as an iPod-integrated media system and creature comforts like a gas fireplace and luxury linens. And Castle Hill Inn is a little ways out from downtown Newport, but this converted Victorian summer cottage has unrivaled coastline vistas. Themed rooms and suites are impeccably appointed; for example, the Beach Cottages have private beach access and French doors that flood the room with natural light. 

The Elms Newport Mansions
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What to Do

…If You Fancy Theater/Comedy:

  • Fire House Theater: This improv comedy show gets the audience involved, is inexpensive, and BYOB. Need we say more?
  • Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center: The historic venue offers a traditional theater viewing experience—showing documentaries, shorts, live performances, and all matter of cinema. They even have craft cocktails, beer, and wine. 

…If You’re an Automobile Buff

  • Newport Car Museum: A collection of more than 75 cars—including Ford/Shelby models, Corvettes, muscle cars, and more—from the 1950s to present day.
  • Audrain Automobile Museum: This museum puts on themed exhibitions (like The Past to the Present and Horseless to Horsepower), showcasing a small assortment of rare models.

…If You Want to Tour Mansions

  • Newport Mansions: If you’re gonna tour a mansion, tour a freaking mansion. Breakers is like a wedding cake among muffins, architecturally speaking. The Vanderbilt’s palatial villa has 70 rooms embellished top to bottom in Renaissance-style elements. Ceilings are gilded, and walls are adorned with platinum-leaf panels and slabs of marble butterflied for symmetry. During the holidays, decorations provide an added dose of pageantry. Marble House is a little toned down but equally impressive. Make sure to check out the Chinese Tea House out back overlooking the cliffs, where Alva Vanderbilt hosted rallies during the women’s suffrage movement.
Mixology class at The Vanderbilt
Courtesy Image

…If You Want a Taste of Newport

  • Newport Vineyards & Taproot Brewing Co.: The tasting staff at the winery—which underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation—is exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable; Brenden recommended wines based on preference, along with a brief rundown of each wine’s individual flavor profile. Tastings (five total) yield generous pours. Newport’s terroir—cooler growing season, proximity to water, etc.—makes their white wines preferable. (Try the pinot gris.) After the tasting, pop over to the adjoining brewery. Snack on a cheese board, then wash it down with a hazy IPA.
  • Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling: Try unique yearly releases like their Annual ’19 milk stout—a marriage of chocolate, oats, cinnamon, and guajillo chilies—that evokes Mexican hot chocolate. There are also all-year mainstays including a fruity double IPA, a blueberry kölsch, and a traditional amber ale.
  • Ragged Island Brewery: Hops fiends, rejoice. This brewery specializes in IPAs and often has a food truck out back.
  • Mixology Class at The Vanderbilt: A mixologist (usually Christina Mercado, The Vanderbilt’s Beverage Manager) will guide you through a spirits tasting—could be gin, vodka, whiskey, etc.—then help you craft two specialty cocktails. The ~$55 reservation includes canapes.
  • Gurney’s Newport: This seaside retreat (which also has a location in Montauk, NY) is no less enjoyable in the winter. Book a treatment in the Seawater Spa, sip on cocktails inside a heated igloo (the pop-up is available Nov. 22- Feb. 29), or go ice skating on the seaside rink (available till March 1).
Newport Vineyards
Courtesy Image

Where to Eat/Drink

For brunch or dinner, make a reservation ahead of time lest you find yourself waiting for hours on end for a table. Also note dress codes.

For Coffee:

  • Empire Tea & Coffee: Great for a grab-and-go cold brew or a more leisurely stay, where you can nibble on pastries or a made-to-order egg sandwich.
  • The Nitro Bar: Drop in for nitro cold brew , signature lattes (like lavender), and specialty teas (try the blood orange hibiscus).

For Upscale Fine Dining:

  • 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille: Come for the world-class steak, stay for the waterfront views.
  • The Grill at Forty 1° North: A dockside restaurant ideal for romantic dinners. Order any of the steaks, chops, and seafood options.
  • Clarke Cooke House: This multi-level restaurant is a Newport establishment you can’t miss. There’s sailing memorabilia strewn all over the walls, and the upper level becomes a riotous good time at night. The lower levels are for casual dining, offering multiple bars and a fireplace to post up next to for a cocktail. You can’t go wrong with the Newport Clam Chowder, Peppered Tuna Steak, Caramelized Jump Sea Scallops, and Snowball in Hell dessert (chocolate mousse and ice cream cloaked in chocolate and toasted coconut).
  • Midtown Oyster Bar: This is your spot if you have a hankering for a raw bar. Locals enjoy the Sunday winter roast special, too.
  • Cara at The Chanler at Cliff Walk: This historic mansion is a 5-star hotel along the Cliff Walk. Locals say it offers some of the best espresso martinis (and more clever craft cocktails). The menu delivers French fare with a New England twist.
  • The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn: Make reservations for brunch. Share the RI Mushroom Toast with whipped ricotta, sultana raisins, and gremolata to start, then try the Eggs Benedict and French Toast with caramelized bananas, rum syrup, and honey roasted peanuts—with a side of Bloody Mary’s, of course. 

For Casual Eating and Drinking:

  • Thames Street Kitchen: Locals argue this is where you’ll find the best food in Newport. The menu changes based on the season, but you must get the warm bread with furikake butter and the raviolo (with serrano ham, ricotta, egg yolk). It’s one big ravioli. (More like a pillow of buttery, umami goodness).
  • Pasta Beach: Light, tender gnocchi. Rigatoni all’Amatriciana studded with bacon and onions. Loads of gourmet pizza choices. You’ll need to be rolled out of here.
  • Corner Street Cafe: This BYOB joint serves up greasy spoon comfort food, but the breakfast is the real treat. Breakfast burritos, stuffed French toast, and  omelettes and breakfast sandwiches of every kind await.
  • Diego’s: This craft cocktail bar has a colorful array of tequila concoctions—and plenty of Mexican fare and fried offerings, like Diego’s Crack Fries (topped with Oaxaca cheese, black pepper, and garlic aioli), to soak it all up.
  • Want a casual spot for a glass of vino, craft beer, or cocktail? Try Surf Club or Salvation Cafe.
  • Looking for dive bar vibes? Head to Caleb and BroadThe Fastnet Pub, or O’Brien’s Pub.

 


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Why Your Next Adventure Should Be by Train




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New Mercedes Adventuremobile Unveiled As ‘Smart Home on Wheels’


When it comes to getting outside and exploring the world, Adventuremobiles have been all the rage in recent years. And with #vanlife hype noise at full volume, the idea of having a capable, comfortable, and compact travel rig is as popular now as it’s ever been.

Last weekend, the innovative minds at Mercedes-Benz unveiled an all-new addition to their wildly popular van segment: The Marco Polo. (And the automaker touts the updated camper van as a “Smart home on wheels.”)

marco polo
Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes announced the debut of the new Marco Polo at the Caravan, Motor and Tourism (CMT) exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany. And when the storied auto giant says that this thing is smart, we’d have to agree — especially as it backs up the claim with notable tech features.

Equipped with the highly innovative Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control (MBAC)—which comes standard on all models—the Marco Polo boasts many control features right from your smartphone.

marco polo
Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

“Connectivity is an important component of our product strategy which we have been intensively pursuing over the course of the past two years in the motorhome segment,” says head of marketing and sales at Mercedes-Benz Vans Klaus Maier in a press release. “In 2018, we celebrated the launch of our ground-breaking Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control interface module in concept vehicles. And only a year later, the first conversion specialists were able to implement MBAC in motorhome prototypes based on the Sprinter. 2020 will now see MBAC added as a standard component to our own Marco Polo camper vans.”

marco polo
Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

From either the 10.5-inch touchscreen display located in the cockpit, or your mobile device, drivers can control the warm-air auxiliary heater (including programming a timer and nighttime temperature reduction), retract or extend the electric-powered pop-up roof, open/close the sliding sunroof, manipulate the brightness level (and color temperature) of the interior lighting, control the sound system, and even adjust the ‘coolbox’ temperature.

marco polo
Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

If you’re in the market for an adventure rig, but you’re not quite sure that the massive size of the Sprinter is right for you, then Mercedes’ latest compact vans are certainly worth a look. No word yet on if they’ll be available in North America; Mercedes slates the release of the latest Marco Polo “in select markets in spring of 2020.”

Boasting many camper van comforts with a connected tech approach in a smaller package, the new Marco Polo just might be perfect compromise between the behemoth Sprinter and your mom’s old minivan.

marco polo
Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

For the full list of tech specs and features, click here.


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