The Big Easy turns the Big 3-0-0 this year, and in this city where the good times roll, the parties will be epic — think citywide art shows, supersized Mardi Gras parades, and a festival of lights using landmark buildings as backdrops. Thirteen years after Hurricane Katrina, there is much to celebrate: The Central Business District, once a dead zone after dark, now crackles at all hours thanks to four new hotels (the Ace, Troubadour, Catahoula, and NOPSI), each with its own rooftop bar. The neighborhood is also home to new restaurants like Maypop — a Vietnamese-Creole joint from acclaimed chef Michael Gulotta. Another area coming to life is the three-mile riverfront, where a renovated Spanish Plaza will reopen this spring. More riverfront updates, including a new Four Seasons Hotel, will roll out in the next few years. Toast the tricentennial at the Sazerac House, a French Quarter museum dedicated to the official cocktail of New Orleans, opening later this year. —Allison Entrekin
In March 22, 2010, jetBlue turned down incentives from the City of Orlando and announced its headquarters would keep its Forest Hills office, start leasing and using a new office in the Brewster Building in Long Island City, New York. in Queens Plaza in Long Island City, move its headquarters there in mid-2012, and start a joint branding deal with New York State using the iconic I Love NY logo.
Known as the Tibet of Japan, the remote Iya Valley is tucked away in the mountainous interior of Shikoku, the least visited of the country’s four main islands. Tourism to the region took a leap forward when it hosted the World Rafting Championship in 2017 — putting its turquoise Class Four rapids firmly on the adventure-travel map. New ziplines and hiking trails are sprouting up in the canyons, while upgrades have been made to accommodations in the area’s traditional thatched-roof farmhouses, or minkas. Chiiori House is the most luxurious; the property also maintains an excellent portfolio of more affordable options. —Adam Harney Graham
In October 2005, JetBlue's quarterly profit had plunged from US$8.1 million to $2.7 million largely due to rising fuel costs. Operational issues, fuel prices, and low fares, JetBlue's hallmark, were bringing its financial performance down. In addition, with higher costs related to the airline's numerous amenities, JetBlue was becoming less competitive.
On October 13, 2009, the airline unveiled a modification to its livery in commemoration of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the airline in February 2010. Besides a new tail design, the revised livery includes larger "billboard" titles extending down over the passenger windows at the front of the aircraft. The logo word 'jetBlue' will no longer be silver and blue but now a dark, navy blue.
As Bali goes increasingly upmarket, it now offers visitors access to a buzzing food scene in Ubud, its cultural capital, as well as an island-wide luxury-hotel boom. The Ubud Food Festival, which is in its fourth year, showcases the diverse flavors of the Indonesian archipelago in dozens of events, including cook-offs, demos, talks, food tours, and events in new restaurants. Notable newcomers on the town’s food scene include Spice, a casual Asian-fusion restaurant from Chris Salans, formerly Bouley Bakery’s chef de cuisine and head chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon; Room4Dessert from Will Goldfarb, whose now-closed avant-garde New York eatery of the same name won him a James Beard nomination; and Moksa, a vegan café, bakery, and organic farm with its own grocery. Heading up the wave of new high-end hotels is luxury Japanese chain Hoshino Resorts, which unveiled Hoshinoya Bali, 30 thatched-roof villas in the rain forest outside Ubud. Capella Ubud will launch 22 ultra-luxury tents, each with an outdoor saltwater Jacuzzi pool, in early 2018. And Jumeirah Bali plans to debut 123 villas surrounded by tropical gardens in upscale Jimbaran in mid 2018. A two-year overhaul at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay means its villas will now have bigger bedrooms and better ocean views, while at Four Seasons Sayan in the Ubud rain forest, guests are being offered a new activity: being rocked to sleep in a silk hammock in a bamboo hut by an former Buddhist nun, the resort’s wellness mentor. —Sharon McDonnell
Holiday Weekends: During most times of the year, you can get away with last minute vacation planning, but major holidays like New Year's, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Christmas often mean sold out airline seats and hotel rooms, so it's a good idea to do your research and reservations ahead of time. People often postpone trip planning because it's difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Browse our ideas by month section which includes suggestions for every month of the year as well as Valentine's Day, Mothers & Fathers Days, fall foliage trips, 4th of July events and other trip ideas for families and couples.
Flight Denver - Chicago (DEN - ORD) $79+ Flight Houston - Chicago (HOU - ORD) $91+ Flight Houston - Chicago (IAH - ORD) $91+ Flight Boston - Chicago (BOS - ORD) $97+ Flight Dallas - Chicago (DFW - ORD) $97+ Flight Minneapolis - Chicago (MSP - ORD) $97+ Flight New York - Chicago (LGA - ORD) $97+ Flight Washington - Chicago (BWI - ORD) $101+ Flight Atlanta - Chicago (ATL - ORD) $108+