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Stat: Airline Satisfaction Index



April 22, 2014


By: Newswire







The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is now accessible for a initial entertain of 2014. Here’s how a airlines are stacking up. 

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10 many renouned inhabitant parks by Facebook check-ins


It used to be so difficult to tell friends and family where we were traveling. Schlep an residence book on a trip, buy postcards and stamps, find a mailbox. Ditto for photos, where we were always many stairs divided from display off a cherished picture.

No more. Social media sites and location-based services offer present gratification, and few groups take improved advantage than travelers.

To symbol Earth Day, Facebook looked during check-ins from a users in all inhabitant parks in 2013. You’ll find no surprises among a tip three: The Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone are among a gems of America’s overwhelming inhabitant parks system.

RELATED: World’s tip spots for Facebook check-ins in 2013

But lest we consider usually courageous travelers make it to “national parks,” declare a fourth-ranking mark on Facebook’s list. Wolf Trap, an outside unison venue in Virginia administered by a National Park Service, is a good place to see an aging stone rope while sipping chardonnay underneath a stars, though it’s clearly not allied to a Everglades.

The rest of a list is done adult of inhabitant park all-stars, with Great Smoky Mountains, a park system’s most-visited venue, entrance it during No. 5. Here are a tip 10 most-checked-into inhabitant parks:

1. Grand Canyon

2. Yosemite

3. Yellowstone

4. Wolf Trap National Park for a Performing Arts

5. Great Smoky Mountains

6. Zion

7. Rocky Mountain

8. Everglades

9. Acadia

10. Joshua Tree

There are some-more engaging tidbits in Facebook’s data:

• 91% of all users who checked in usually did so during one inhabitant park.

• 88% of check-ins were by Americans. Among unfamiliar visitors checking in, a tip 5 countries of start were a U.K., Germany, Canada, Australia and France.

• Residents of Washington, D.C., were a many expected to check in during a inhabitant park in 2013. But many didn’t have to transport distant — in further to a aforementioned Wolf Trap in a suburbs, a city is home to Rock Creek Park, a large civic inhabitant park busy by cyclists and runners, and several other NPS ancestral sites.

Lastly, while transport writers adore this kind of real-world information about where people indeed go, this contingency be said: You’ll have copiousness of time to post to your favorite amicable media sites from your hotel room. In a meantime, put your inclination divided and suffer a view!

YOUR TAKE: Send us your inhabitant park photos

READ MORE: 10 inhabitant park practice of a lifetime


Detroit unveils restroom for dogs in Delta terminal

Delta passengers roving with use animals now have a dedicated space for their pets and use animals when they fly by a carrier’s Detroit hub.

That’s interjection to a “restroom” area during Detroit Metropolitan Airport now accommodates four-legged flyers.

Two lush-looking rags of grass, finish with sprinkler system, were presented Tuesday behind a assign nearby embankment A34 in a McNamara Terminal. A tiny throng watched as dual happy dogs tested out a “Service Animal Relief Area.”

VIDEO: Metro Airport unveils restroom for dogs during McNamara Terminal

Marguerite Maddox, 58, of Detroit pronounced it will save a half-hour not carrying to take her black Lab named Jello outward by confidence screening to get relief.

“To have her inside is a blessing for us,” Maddox pronounced while smiling down during Jello, who helps her with conference disabilities.

The use area is giveaway and offers a penetrate for stuffing H2O bottles and soaking hands, as good as squares of both feign and genuine weed vast adequate to accommodate one or dual dogs during a time.

“You’ve left from backpacking to staying during a Ritz Carlton,” pronounced Delta comforts manager John Garbacik.

The $75,000 addition, that connects to a same sanitation complement as a humans’ restrooms, is dictated for passengers’ preference as good as to make work a small easier for a people who purify adult accidents. It also helps equivocate people slipping and descending on dog waste, Garbacik said.

The service-animal use area is usually during a McNamara Terminal, as a volume of joining flights creates it some-more suitable than a North Terminal, where people are only vacating and arriving, pronounced airfield orator Michael Conway.

Delta operates a vast joining heart out of a McNamara Terminal, that also houses flights of some of Delta’s partner airlines. Detroit’s North Terminal is mostly for other carriers portion Detroit.

Michigan-based Paws With a Cause done suggestions on a use area’s accommodations. Deb Davis, village overdo manager with a organization, gave a proof with Cricket, a golden retriever on Tuesday morning.

Cricket was means to strike a rectilinear aim of weed as good as pull a vast symbol activating sprinklers, that rinse a glass rubbish to drains next a grass. Bags are accessible alone for plain waste. Davis pronounced it took some training for Cricket to know she wouldn’t be in difficulty for relieving herself indoors, though that she held on quickly.

“It’s a smashing preference for the dogs, generally the use dogs,” she said, “because they’re an prolongation of the bodies.”

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Hangzhou: Off-the-Beaten-Path in China



April 22, 2014

By: Meagan Drillinger


Travel Agent


A Pavilion perspective during dusk

Travelers looking for China beyond Shanghai and Beijing can spin toward Hangzhou, an ancient city on a brook usually south of Shanghai that is blossoming into one of a country’s tip destinations for tourists.

Founded in 300 B.C., Hangzhou was once a collateral city of a Chinese Kingdom, and is crowded of ancient temples and a World UNESCO Heritage-listed West Lake. More than 3 million visitors have been to Hangzhou in a past year, and tourism is adult 18.5 percent during a 2014 Chinese New Year holiday. Here is a demeanour during what is new in a end this opening year.

RELATED: Hangzhou, China Debuts New Commercial during BNP Paribas Showdown

Lingyin Temple, Hangzhou, is one of a many distinguished monuments around West Lake, and one of a tip 10 Buddhist temples in China.

Lingyin Temple, Hangzhou, is one of a many distinguished monuments around West Lake, and one of a tip 10 Buddhist temples in China.

Hot Hotels

DoubleTree by Hilton Hangzhou East non-stop in Dec with 308 hotel bedrooms in a business district of Xiasha Economic Technological Development Zone in Hangzhou. Great for meetings, a hotel has some-more than 11,000 block feet of assembly space, 8 multi-functional rooms, a VIP accepting room and a house room.

Also recently opened, Chaptel Hangzhou by Relais Chateaux is a new hotel built in well-preserved shikumen (stone-gate) houses. The accommodations are during a feet of a hills surrounding West Lake.

RELATED: Hangzhou, China Seeking New Visitors

Santai Yunshui, circuitously West Lake.
Santai Yunshui, circuitously West Lake

In a same oppulance vein, Fairmont Hangzhou has set an opening date for 2017. The expected hotel will have 300 bedrooms and will lay atop a city’s tallest building, with views from all a rooms, private concierge services and other disdainful amenities.

Though not new, a Four Seasons Hangzhou during West Lake is still value a visit. The hotel is set in a lakeside encampment dark divided among ponds, streams, and lagoons. All of a bedrooms come entirely versed with L’Occitane and Bvlgari bath amenities, and a hotel offers a 24-hour aptness center, an outside pool, and several lounges and restaurants.

The Xihu State Guesthouse has 3 sides confronting a banks of a West Lake for a lake-front skill with pleasing gardens, Gold Key service, and a lifelike grill on a banks of a lake. For those who wish to be active, a hotel has a aptness center, an 18-hole golf course, and tennis courts.

Around Town

The West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can be explored by vessel or bike. Around a shores travelers will find an array of statues, pagodas and monuments. On a brief list of must-see attractions are a Mausoleum of General Yue Fei, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Two Peaks Embracing a Sky, Temple of Soul’s Retreat, Peak Flown from Afar, and Solitary Hill. Nearby a lake, guest will find a Hangzhou Botanical Gardens, home to some-more than 1,000 yellow wintersweets.

Everyone has listened of a Great Wall, though equally considerable is a Grand Canal. This synthetic current stretches 1,200 miles from Hangzhou to Beijing and has stood a exam of time for some-more than 2,000 years. The Grand Canal has sightseeing boats that yield perspectives of life in South China stream towns.

Hangzhou and a circuitously West Lake are among a tip rising tourism destinations in China.
Hangzhou and a circuitously West Lake are among a tip rising tourism destinations in China.

Starting this month, a tea experts during Seven Cups will chaperon tea-connoisseurs opposite Eastern China. For dual days, a debate will stop in Hangzhou, a Tea Capital of China. Visitors will travel by a Emperor’s Tea Garden, revisit a Hangzhou Tea museum and revisit a oldest tea master to learn about a normal skills involved.

Not distant from West Lake is Lingyin Temple, also famous as Temple of Soul’s Retreat. This is a many distinguished place around West Lake and is one of a tip 10 Buddhist temples in China. The church gives visitors both a eremite and devout experience. The oldest statue on a site, a 800-year-old Skanda Buddha, guards a back entrance, while a front is dominated by an huge sculpture called “the Laughing Buddha.” Inside a Grand Hall of a Great Sage is a largest wooden Buddhist statue in China.

Xixi National Wetland Park is a usually inhabitant wetland park in China, located in western Hangzhou. The park is crisscrossed with 6 categorical watercourses, among that separate several ponds, lakes and swamps. The wetland has a chronological and informative birthright of some-more than 1,800 years and is a strange site of Chinese South Opera. It is home to normal Dragon Boat races, along with silkworm feeding and silk production.

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Great American hikes: 20 tip trails opposite a USA

Blue Spring Loop, Conecuh National Forest — Wing, Ala.: The whole Conecuh Forest Trail extends over 20 miles of dense, Deep South forest, though a Blue Spring Loop allows hikers to knowledge all a landscape has to offer within a 6.1-mile circuit. Described as a hilly hike, this track ascends by towering woods and drops down towards streams, swamps and ponds. A different arrangement of foliage and wildlife will have we on a surveillance for longleaf pines, turkey oaks, otters, snakes, and even alligators. 
(Photo: Flickr/Wenfei Tong)


It’s tough to contend accurately since hiking is such a renouned entertainment in a U.S. It could be a accessibility; there are hundreds of vital trails and large noted and unmarked offshoots. It could be that removing started is as easy as putting one feet in front of a other, though severe treks will keep even a many consultant hiker on their toes. Maybe it’s witnessing a beauty and farrago of inlet with a land underneath your feet.

Whatever it is that drives people to edging adult their boots and conduct out on a trail, we do know one thing — hiking is extravagantly popular. According to a Outdoor Industry Association, hiking has turn some-more renouned in new years, usually gaining participants any year given 2009. In 2012 a organisation estimated that some-more than 34 million Americans went hiking.

It’s bizarre to consider that this healthy outside activity usually gained appreciation in sincerely new history. Prior to a 18th century, walking and movement were deliberate a pointer of misery and vagrancy. Luckily for those of us overcome with wanderlust, hiking surpassed a tarnish and is upheld and promoted on both supervision and private land today.

With so many grand trails, a emanate lies in where to go next. For consultant advice, Active Times consulted dual gifted hikers, Philip Werner and Rick McCharles.

Werner is an tour author and backcountry beam during SectionHiker.com. He is an consultant on a Appalachian Trail, that he has been hiking section-by-section given 2007. He has also hiked a Long Trail in Vermont — all 272 miles, and has tackled many of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, station during some-more than 4,000 feet a piece. Although Werner is an gifted backpacker, he is informed with and enjoys a easier day hikes.

McCharles is a editor of BestHike.com, a collection of a best hikes, treks and tramps in a world.

In a list of good American hikes, we sought to yield an array of trails that would interest to everyone. We delicately comparison hikes in any dilemma of a U.S., we chose both day hikes and those that could take an whole week, and we tracked down trails for all ability levels. This list is formed in opinion and is meant to offer as impulse for your adventures.

Did we skip one of your favorite hikes? Leave a criticism and tell us what other trails you’d recommend!

THE ACTIVE TIMES: Five reasons to travel with a guide

Long Trail, Jay Peak Long Trail North
Jay, Vt.
The “footpath in a wilderness” was determined in a early 1900s, creation it a oldest long-distance track in a United States. The whole of a track spans from Massachusetts to a Canadian border, though track consultant Philip Werner suggests a Jay Peak domain to hikers looking for a best part. It’s imperishable adequate to keep any hiker interested, though a Jay Peak domain is easy of beginners. – Diana Gerstacker

Appalachian Trail, 30-Mile Wilderness
Monson, Maine
Maine’s eminent 100-Mile Wilderness is a longest partial of a Appalachian Trail that never crosses a paved road. Lucky for northeastern hikers, a initial 30 miles of this track showcase a trails best features. A rather imperishable route, explorers can design to confront a Lower Wilson Falls, sensuous maple forests, hilly rushing rivers, and monumental views of Maine’s country backwoods. – Katie Rosenbrock

Cascade Mountain
Keene, N.Y.
Named for a waterfalls during a mountain’s base, Cascade is one of a 46 Adirondack High Peaks, and is pronounced to be a easiest to scale. A good choice for beginners and anyone looking for a overwhelming perspective of New York’s Green plateau and Lake Champlain, a 4.2 mile travel is personal as easy, though a views are tough to come by anywhere else. – Diana Gerstacker

Mount Tom Traverse, Metacomet-Monadnock Trail
Easthampton/Holyoke, Mass.
The Mount Tom Traverse apportionment of a Metacomet-Monadnock Trail was approved as a National Recreation Trail in 2001 and offers hikers a singular event to knowledge a varying landscapes that a Massachusetts timberland has to offer. Beginning during a opening to a Mount Tom Reservation on Route 141, after a discerning 200-foot betterment gain, this track will take we by about 6 miles of ridgewalking where you’ll locate grand views of a Connecticut River Valley and pass by a hull of century-old hotels before reaching Goat Peak. Birdwatchers will generally adore this track in a open and tumble when it’s common to mark hawks gliding overhead. – Katie Rosenbrock

Mt. Tammany
Worthington State Forest, N.J.
This New Jersey towering overlooks a Delaware Water Gap, providing fantastic views and a accumulation of track options, all in eagle-watching territory. The categorical loop is usually 3.5 miles long, though what it lacks in distance, it creates adult for in slope. The shortest choice on Mt. Tammany is listed during 1.5 miles, a docile stretch for any hiker. — Diana Gerstacker

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Old Rag Mountain
Shenandoah National Park, Va.
Just since this track is one of a some-more renouned hiking destinations in a U.S. doesn’t meant it’s an easy ascent. In fact, a National Park Service says it’s one of Shenandoah’s many dangerous hikes. The Old Rag track is widely deliberate a classical travel and is famous for attracting crowds of climbers during a rise summer seasons. Aptly named for a imperishable turf strewn with stone fields and unclothed rocks, a track is 8 miles round-trip. Ensure a protected trek by holding a demeanour during a NPS reserve discipline before attempting this climb. – Katie Rosenbrock

Franconia Ridge Traverse
White Mountain National Forest, N.H.
The Franconia Ridge Trail runs from south to north and links Mount Liberty (4459′), Little Haystack, Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette along a knife-edge, above-treeline track that plunges thousands of feet to a Walker Brook and Lincoln Brook stream valleys below. On a transparent day, we can see a whole Pemigewasset Wilderness to a easterly including apart Bondcliff, a Twins, and Owls Head Mountain. To a east, is a pretentious Cannon Cliff and a Kinsmans, with views of Vermont and even New York State in transparent weather. – Philip Werner

Beacon Heights
Linville, N.C.
A track that offers large rewards though requires small effort, after a brief travel (less than one mile) to a limit of Beacon Heights you’ll be greeted by monumental views of Grandfather Mountain, MacRae Peak, and Rough Ridge Overlook. On generally transparent days we might even be means to locate glimpses of a Blue Ridge Parkway. The track also provides entrance to longer hikes like a 13.5-mile Tanawha Trail that leads to Price Lake and a Mountains to a Sea Trail, that stretches all a approach to a Atlantic Ocean. – Katie Rosenbrock

Cape Henry Trail
Virginia Beach, Va.
Winding by First Landing State Park, a Cape Henry Trail is 6 miles prolonged and mostly flat. In those brief 6 miles, you’ll make your approach by forests and over swamps and salt marshes, removing a ambience of Virginia’s coast. The track is abounding with wildlife, birdwatchers should put this track on their to do list. – Diana Gerstacker

Torreya Challenge Loop
Bristol, Fla.
Although it’s mostly flat, this 7-mile loop around Florida’s Torreya State Park is still deliberate a moderate-level hike. This trek by a marshy timberland turf will take we opposite several ridges and low gorges. The track is permitted year-round and offers entrance to several camping areas, too. – Katie Rosenbrock

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Cohutta Wilderness, Jacks River Trail
Epworth, Ga.
Vast, well-preserved Cohutta timberland is home to one of a best trails in a Southeast. Jacks River Trail follows it’s namesake, and crosses occasionally, so don’t count on staying totally dry. The track offers entrance to sensuous greenery, transparent swimming holes and ideal camping spots. The full travel is 16.2 miles long, that creates it a ideal weekend travel for those with some hiking experience. – Diana Gerstacker

Blue Spring Loop, Conecuh National Forest
Wing, Ala.
The whole Conecuh Forest Trail extends over 20 miles of dense, Deep South forest, though a Blue Spring Loop allows hikers to knowledge all a landscape has to offer within a 6.1-mile circuit. Described as a hilly hike, this track ascends by towering woods and drops down towards streams, swamps and ponds. A different arrangement of foliage and wildlife will have we on a surveillance for longleaf pines, turkey oaks, otters, snakes, and even alligators. – Katie Rosenbrock

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Honey Creek Loop
Oneida, Tenn.
The Honey Creek Loop is a many severe track in a area, though it’s value a effort. The track offers a skirmish into a cliff-enclosed pool, an array of singular stone formations via and several rivulet crossings. For a brief 5 and a half mile hike, experts contend you’ll need during slightest an hour per mile and advise opposite going after a large storm, as a additional H2O could make this severe track scarcely impossible. – Diana Gerstacker

The Hayduke Trail’s Hurrah Pass, Arches National Park
Moab, Utah
This track is located wholly on open lands, joining 6 National Parks in a Southern Utah and Northern Arizona area and covering 800 miles of imperishable backcountry terrain. The whole track is divided into 14 sections, a second of that stretches over 47.1 miles from Hurrah Pass to a Big Spring Trailhead of Canyonlands National Park. Advanced dessert hikers means of rebellious this fraudulent trek will be rewarded for their tough work with sights of some of a many pretentious red stone views of a American Southwest. – Katie Rosenbrock

The Lost Coast
Calif.
Named for it’s bent to be mislaid underneath California’s waves or for a ostracism from a Pacific Coast Highway, depending on who we believe, this track is about as ocean-front as we can get. Don’t be fooled by a pleasing perspective — this travel is a tough one. So tough, in fact, that highway crews deemed it insurmountable and refused to build highway on these shoreline cliffs. The track is some-more than 20 miles, one way, with camping spots throughout, creation it a ideal week-long plea for a impassioned hiker. – Diana Gerstacker

Williams Lake Trail
Ski Valley, N.M.
An intermediate-level travel and one of a many renouned trails in a Taos Ski Valley, a Williams Lake Trail covers about 2 miles and summits during only over 11,000 feet. A discerning stand that yields pleasing views of a valley’s emerald pines and of course, Williams Lake, this travel facilities a few high stretches though for a many partial is suitable for hikers of all levels. – Katie Rosenbrock

Snowmass Wilderness, Maroon Bells
Aspen, Colo.
This fantastic perspective is pronounced to be Colorado’s many photographed towering landscape, though a hikes are not to be overshadowed. Standing during some-more than 14,000 feet each, a 6 peaks pull scores of gifted hikers. With a recognition of a area, we won’t be alone in your adventure, though it’s still value a trip. – Diana Gerstacker

Mt. Wittenberg Loop, Point Reyes National Seashore
Olema, Calif.
The Mt. Wittenberg Loop in California’s 70,000-acre Point Reyes National Park presents hikers with a high 5-mile stand to a park’s top point. You’ll wander by forests and meadows before reaching a rise during 1,407 feet where beautiful panoramas of a California seashore and Olema hollow await. – Katie Rosenbrock

Angels Landing
Zion National Park, Utah
Angels Landing might have been named for it’s remote route, though a formidable trek is good value a effort. Begin by scaling cliffs with a assistance of bondage bolted into stone and strech a best views by negotiating a slight stone fin with high dropoffs on possibly side. Red stone fans and brave demon hikers won’t be means to pass on this journey. – Diana Gerstacker

John Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada Mountains
Yosemite Valley, Calif.
You can travel for 2 or 3 weeks but channel a road. The John Muir is a best domain of a longer Pacific Crest Trail. It crosses Yosemite, Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. If there’s a hiker’s heaven, it looks like a John Muir Trail. – Rick McCharles

READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE: 30 good American hikes

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Teen Stowaway May Have Been Trying to Find African Relatives

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