Budget Travel was born from a simple idea: “Vacations for Real People.” Our audience (that’s you, by the way) is curious, discerning, intelligent, and down to earth. You want the best travel experience that money can buy, and you want to enjoy travel without the hassle.
Our Coolest Small Towns in America series has been going strong for more years than we can count, and it reflects on a couple of our founding beliefs: you don’t need to break the bank to have a nice vacation, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We want to invite you to explore the possibility that your next transformative travel experience might be just around the corner. Maybe in your own state, or maybe a day’s ride from home.
This year, we want to highlight the small towns that not a lot of people have heard about and have a strong and thriving community. Trends may come and go, destinations may fall in and out of fashion. But curiosity, discernment, and intelligence are always in style. Our 2022 Coolest Small Towns are spread across the country, so that you can Rediscover America.
Meet Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Towns for 2022:
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Yellowstone, America’s first national park is big — 2.2 million-acres big. In addition to its size, Yellowstone divides into distinctly different regions and habitats that include geysers, fumaroles, and other geothermal features plus a canyon, a lake, and a series of limestone terraces as well as an abundance of roaming wildlife. With such vastness and variety, the park can be overwhelming. To make the most of your Yellowstone visit, follow these insider tips. 1. See Old Faithful in the early morning or in the evening. Almost everyone who enters the park heads to Old Faithful. For a more intimate experience, explore the Upper Geyser Basin in the early morning before the day visitors arrive or in the late afternoon after they leave. 2. Visit Yellowstone Lake in the afternoon. While the day visitors view Old Faithful and the surrounding area, head to 136-square-mile Yellowstone Lake, the largest in the park. Consider signing up for a guided boat tour or rent a boat on your own. 3. Take a hike. Don’t just see Yellowstone’s wonders through your car window. Walking even a ½ mile on a boardwalk or trail offers you a more complete sense of Yellowstone’s features and landscape. 4. Look for wildlife at the right times. Your best chance of spotting the park’s legendary bison as well as other critters is in the early morning or evening. 5. Explore Lamar Valley. Often less-visited than other areas, Lamar Valley’s habitat draws wildlife and the open vistas create optimum viewing conditions. You may see elk, bear, coyote, bighorn sheep, and eagles, especially if you arrive early. Consider booking the park’s early-morning Wake Up to Wildlife Tour. 6. Stop at the Visitor Centers. Each facility presents educational exhibits that focus on their region of the park. While at the centers, check for the ranger programs. 7. Look at the stars. Go outside after dark. Walk 100 yards from your lodge or drive a short distance to a turnout, then park, scan the lot for wildlife and if none is present, exit your car to look up at the dazzling display of stars. With little light pollution, the night sky is a wonder. 8. Carry a flashlight at night. Since the park keeps the outdoor lighting soft, bring a flashlight for comfort, especially when traveling with young children. 9. Bring binoculars. Stay a safe distance from the wildlife. If you want to see what a bison or elk looks like up close, view them through your binoculars. 10. Pack for multiple seasons. Even in summer low temperatures at night can hover near freezing and daytime highs shoot into the 80s. Pack layers. For more information and reservations, visit yellowstonenationalparklodges.com or call 307-344-7311. For more travel experiences available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.
Readers' Choice: Best value destination
We're giving you the floor. To gear up for our second annual Readers' Choice issue in November 2011 we're turning to the true experts—you! Over the past few months we asked for your thoughts on a variety of travel topics ranging from your favorite cruise line to your ultimate dream destination. Once your nominations are in, we'll give you the chance to vote on the best of the best. Let us know your pick for the best value destination—and why—by posting a comment below. What makes a great value destination? Where can you find the cheapest, but still most stylish, resorts? Which cities are served by low-cost carriers? Where can you indulge in gourmet food and wine without breaking the bank? Where does your dollar go the furthest? The more details to make your case, the better!
8 delicious beers from around the world
From September 17 through October 3—Oktoberfest is on! But why should the fun be limited to one little corner of one country? The original München boozefest is great and all—everyone should experience it once. But we have a hunch our readers traveling in other locales are itching for an autumnal brewsky, too. So we've rounded up our favorite varieties of beer from around the globe. Without further ado, here's the brew.... See also: Confessions of an Oktoberfest Waiter U.K. Oatmeal stout This medieval beer caught on in the late 1800s because people believed the oats made it somehow healthful. ASK FOR: Samuel Smith TASTES LIKE: Molasses mixed with cream GERMANY Doppelbock First brewed in the 17th century by Bavarian monks, it was used as “liquid bread” during Lenten fasts. ASK FOR: Paulaner TASTES LIKE: A Marmite sandwich on pumpernickel FRANCE Bière de garde This farmhouse ale almost vanished during World War II, when brewery equipment was melted to make bombs. ASK FOR: Jenlain TASTES LIKE: Earthy, dry U.S. brews (quelle horreur!) NORWAY Juleøl Dark and sweet, this ale is brewed at Christmastime and designed to stand up to hearty Scandinavian fare. ASK FOR: Aass TASTES LIKE: Whiskey spiced with cloves FINLAND Sahti Brewed with juniper twigs since the 1500s, this hazy beer is one of the oldest varieties still made today. ASK FOR: Lammin TASTES LIKE: Fruitcake that’s heavy on the bananas BELGIUM Flanders red This reddish ale gets its sour flavor from lactobacillus, the same bacteria used to cultivate yogurt. ASK FOR: Rodenbach TASTES LIKE: Apple cider mixed with grape soda ITALY Birra di castagne Italy’s bounty of chestnuts has led to the birth of nut- infused ales, local alternatives to German-style lager Peroni. ASK FOR: Birra del Borgo TASTES LIKE: Bittersweet syrup, almost like grappa RUSSIA Kvass A low-alcohol drink made with fermented rye bread, water, and mint or fruit. Coca-Cola now brews a version. ASK FOR: Ochakovo TASTES LIKE: Moderately sweet, grainy soda MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: New York's hopping beer scene Drink beer better San Francisco: A guide for beer aficionados
Great News for Budget Travelers!
Where are you going next? That's a question I ask myself all the time—both as executive editor at Budget Travel and as, well, someone who loves the word next almost as much as the world going. So I'm really psyched to announce that Budget Travel is making it easier than ever to book an amazing travel deal. We've vastly expanded the number and variety of our Real Deals to help get you where you want to go for the right price. That means in addition to the sweet package deals our editors serve up every day, we are now offering affordable getaways courtesy of Travelzoo (recent deals include vacations in the Caribbean, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and other must-see locales around the globe). You'll find new deals here every day, you can search by destination or by the area you'll be leaving from, and you can arrange deals by price or trip length. With more deals, more variety, and unbeatable prices—not to mention our award-winning feature stories, photography, and up-to-the-minute blog posts—Budget Travel is more committed than ever to giving you everything you need to choose your next dream trip. Me? I've got my eye on Ireland. How about you? Where are you going next?