Author Archives | Jessica Spiegel

About Jessica Spiegel

Jessica Spiegel is a Portland-based freelance writer and social media strategist with a penchant for all things Italy. She has a passion for cities with bad reputations, is an enormous fan of public transportation, and if she never hears the "tourist vs. traveler" argument again it'll be too soon. Jessica's website is jessicatravels.com, and she's on Twitter @andiamo.

Where to Go in May: 20 Great Spots for a Shoulder Season Trip

May's a great time to hit the beach in Rio.

Whether you’ve had enough of the April showers and need a travel respite, or you’re trying to hit the tail end of the shoulder season or just itching to add a new stamp to your passport, May is an excellent month to hit the road. Almost no matter where you’re headed, the month has that […]

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April 29, 2016 by | Comments Off on Where to Go in May: 20 Great Spots for a Shoulder Season Trip

6 Reasons You Need to Go to Detroit This Year

Detroit, Michigan

For awhile now, Detroit has made news for the wrong reasons. Bankruptcy, “ruin porn,” residents maintaining public parks because the city just wasn’t – the list goes on. In the past several years, however, the story has been changing, just like the city. Detroit’s recovery, dubbed “America’s great comeback story,” may be a morbid curiosity […]

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April 15, 2016 by | Comments Off on 6 Reasons You Need to Go to Detroit This Year

The Most Beautiful Place You’ve Never Heard of to Watch Sunsets

Ludington's famous sunset (photo by Jessica Spiegel)

“Where are you going after your visit to Detroit?” My table-mate was a young Michigan native working for the city’s tourism office, and when I replied, “Ludington,” her face positively lit up. Then she grabbed her phone and started swiping through photo after photo of glowing pink, yellow and orange clouds over water. “Ludington is […]

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March 18, 2016 by | Comments Off on The Most Beautiful Place You’ve Never Heard of to Watch Sunsets

Easter Week in Rome, Italy

St. Peter's Basilica

There is nothing like attending mass in St. Peter’s Square. It’s the stuff bucket lists are made of. Packed inside the little area are thousands of people from all over the world. And when it’s Easter week in Rome, it will be especially busy at the Vatican. Pope Francis is certainly now a fixture in […]

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March 11, 2016 by | 30 Comments

Best TV and Film Tours Around the World

Highclere Castle

Taking a vacation can be all about escape — and the same can be said about losing ourselves in the movies and TV shows we love. It’s only natural, then, for film and TV buffs to combine the two when traveling by visiting famous shooting locations around the world. Sometimes you’ll find out that a […]

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February 29, 2016 by | Comments Off on Best TV and Film Tours Around the World

Discovering the Unexpected Art of Detroit

The Z Garage @ Detroit by soupstance (CC BY 2.0)

Detroit has been in the news over the past several years for what many might say are all the wrong reasons. More recently, the city has been appearing in the travel news as the comeback kid, a destination for people who prefer getting away from the same itinerary everyone else seems to be planning. Detroit […]

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February 23, 2016 by | Comments Off on Discovering the Unexpected Art of Detroit

Carnival Celebrations Around the World

Portugal Carnival

Most of us are familiar with some of the most famous Carnival celebrations in the world — Rio, Venice and New Orleans among them. But Carnival is celebrated all over the world in nearly any place that has a strong Catholic background, so there are plenty of places where you can enjoy festivities even if […]

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January 20, 2016 by | 2 Comments

Where to Spend Christmas in Italy

Christmas in Rome

Visiting Italy during the Christmas season offers two bonuses – you’ll avoid the high summer season tourist crowds plus get to see the country decked out in all its holiday finery. December 25th isn’t the biggest holiday of the winter season in Italy (that would be Epiphany, in early January), but it’s still a great […]

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November 24, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Festivals Taking Place Around the World in November

Pushkar Camel Fair

Visiting a new place during a festival can be a great way to get an inside look at traditional food, music and art, and to learn more about the local culture. Here are some of the festivals taking place around the world in November.

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November 2, 2015 by | Comments Off on Festivals Taking Place Around the World in November

Top 25 Haunted Places Around the World

Dublin has plenty of haunted landmarks.

There are 25 haunted spots featured on this list, and plenty more around the world besides. How do you pick just one each year in which to spend your Halloween? Well, the good news is that these places retain their scary reputations year-round, so even if only one of them makes the cut for October […]

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October 28, 2015 by | 5 Comments