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Sun, sea and sand—everyone’s idea of the perfect Caribbean getaway. But where can you find such a postcard-perfect escape when you want to get away from everyone else who is getting away? Head to the Turks & Caicos Islands, where the unspoiled Caribbean of the imagination still thrives. Dangling on the southern end of the Bahamas, due north of Hispaniola, the TCI comprise eight inhabited islands and 32 smaller cays. The most developed island is Providenciales, or “Provo” as it is locally known, where you’ll find most of the resorts—and where the hardest decisions you’ll have to make are what drink to order and when to flip over to soak up more sun. 1. Stay at the Gansevoort. With it’s contemporary urban design, clean lines, white-on-white décor and intimate vibe, the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos is the epitome of Caribbean chic. Plus, it’s the only resort on the island in which every room has a view of the ocean. 2. Beach bliss. There are plenty of beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, but none can match the silky white sand and Tiffany blue waters of Grace Bay. Voted one of the best beaches in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, this […]

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Iceland is renowned for its simple, farm-fresh food. Menus throughout the island are replete with lamb, potatoes, and lots and lots of seafood. But despite the quality of product and the ever-imaginative preparations being presented by today’s top Icelandic chefs, the one item that everyone seems to ask about when you mention Icelandic cuisine is hákarl, or fermented shark. Every TV travel show about the island has to include a segment about this local delicacy, possibly because it’s unique to the country or more likely because it’s notorious for its, how shall I say, unusual flavor. Anthony Bourdain called it “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” he’s ever eaten, and Andrew Zimmern, who’s known for eating just about anything, said hákarl was “hardcore food” and “not for beginners.” So naturally, when I had the chance to go to Iceland, I knew that I had to make a stop at the country’s epicenter of hákarl, The Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum, about 20 minutes west of Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. A large shark-shaped sign on road 54 points you down a long dirt road toward what at first glance appears to be a private farm along the rocky coast. […]

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Willemstad Curacao
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One of the things I really wanted to do on a visit to Curaçao was to tour Landhuis Chobolobo, the factory that produces the island’s eponymous drink, Genuine Curaçao Liqueur. After all, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Curaçao?” Caribbean? Maybe. Snorkeling? Perhaps. Colorful cocktails made with blue booze? Absolutely! Sadly, the factory was closed during the few short days that I was in Willemstad, the country’s capital and a favorite tourist destination, thanks to both a bank holiday and a lack of weekend hours. To say that I was disappointed was putting it mildly. But then I learned of another island specialty: green rum. I was beginning to sense a trend. It seems the people of Curaçao like their spirits like they like their buildings: colorful. But unlike Blue Curaçao, which is a staple of every bar menu from Knip Beach to Caracas Baai, there was only one place I could get green rum. So I grabbed my friends and our driver and headed to the famous Netto Bar. Located off the tourist path in the Otrobanda neighborhood of Willemstad, Netto Bar is a tiny hole-in-the-wall joint with a decidedly local flavor. […]

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