10 Magical Christmas Window Displays To Visit In New York City

Christmas is a magical time in New York City. The aroma of hot apple cider and chocolate linger in the air. Holiday markets spring up around the city. The Rockefeller Christmas tree towers over midtown. New York and New Yorkers seem to slow down and speed up at the same time. Holiday cheer blankets the city and (hopefully) a dusting of snow.

New York is famous for the Christmas windows — Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue, Tiffany’s, Bloomingdales, and many more stores have amazing window displays during the holiday season. Display themes change every year, and we eagerly await the moment in mid-to-late November when we can take a walk to view them.

Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy the seasonal displays.

Macy's Christmas Window 2020.
Sue Davies / Travel for Life Now

1. Macy Herald Square, 151 W. 34 Street

According to local lore, Macy’s was the first store to do holiday window displays in 1874. It was followed by Saks Fifth Avenue in 1914 and Lord & Taylor in 1938. Now all the stores and malls have beautiful holiday displays. In our opinion, Macy’s still leads the way in time and presence. Santa makes his first appearance in the city at the end of Macy’s Thanksgiving Giving Day parade.

In 2020, Macy’s display was a thank you to first responders and essential workers, including a window where viewers were encouraged to clap for the essential workers like the 7 p.m. clapping that occurred early in the pandemic. Some windows were interactive, including one where you could help Santa’s sleigh fly across New York City. 

Pro Tip: Most people focus on 34th street. Walk around to the 6th Avenue side as well. We recommend going inside the store for some shopping or to see the décor. If you have children, make a reservation in advance to visit Macy’s Santaland.

Holiday display at Bloomingdale's at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Victoria Lipov / Shutterstock.com

2. Bloomingdales, 1000 Third Avenue

Bloomingdales is another stop on our window circuit. We loved the 2019 tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing called Out of This World. Other recent themes have included Doctor Seuss’ The Grinch and a light theme a few years ago that included chandeliers by visual artists. Last year’s theme was Lights Up Young Mind and included a virtual benefit for the Child Mind Institute. Some of the windows offer an immersive experience with the scent of pine, evergreen, and peppermint that waft through the air.

Pro Tip: Make sure to walk the Lexington Avenue side of the building.

Tourists and New Yorkers admire the holiday decorations and lights on Saks Fifth Avenue.
Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

3. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue (At 49th Street)

Saks Fifth Avenue has wonderful windows, often with a family movie theme. In recent years, themes have included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Frozen 2. Last year’s theme was This is How We Celebrate which gave expression to the new ways of gathering and celebrating that were created by people during the pandemic. Saks usually does a 2- or 3-minute light show on the 10-story building. It’s best seen in the evening. In the past, Saks had a very crowded celebration where it unveiled the windows. Last year, it chose to do 20 smaller lighting ceremonies. 

Holiday window display at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC.
Victoria Lipov / Shutterstock.com

4. Bergdorf Goodman, 745 Fifth Avenue

Bergdorf’s is a great stop on the window display trail. Bergdorf’s often celebrates New York and the spirit of giving. Four years ago, Bergdorf’s did our favorite windows — To New York With Love. It featured cultural institutions from around the city. The theme in 2020 was Bergdorf Goodness which was done in partnership with City Harvest and focused on values, including harmony, equality, unity, and kindness.

Pro Tip: Go inside Bergdorf’s to see what surprises may be found (and to do some shopping).

Holiday window display at Tiffany in NYC.
Victoria Lipov / Shutterstock.com

5. Tiffany & Co., 6 E. 57th Street

Tiffany’s windows are beautiful and iconic any time of year, but especially at Christmas. Whether or not you are planning to shop at Tiffany’s, it is worth a holiday visit to look at the beautiful jewelry and to see the window displays.

Pro Tip: Tiffany’s moved last year around the corner from the original flagship location at 727 Fifth Avenue. It now has a beautiful and large arched window for the display.

Storefronts in Manhattan, New York, decorated for Christmas, New York City.
Jose Luis Vega / Shutterstock.com

6. Cartier, 653 5th Avenue

While you’re looking at jewelry, drop by Cartier. The tradition at Cartier is to wrap the building in a big red bow. It also has flags that show season’s greetings in many languages. Last year, there was a white panther in the window and wrapped around the ribbon. 

7. Louis Vuitton, 1 East 57th Street

The Louis Vuitton flagship store is stunning any time of year, but it pulls out the stops for the holiday season. Last year’s display featured a 10+ story Christmas tree on the façade of the building. In 2018, it did Trees Around the World all decorated for the holiday. Picture a Cacti, Palm Tree, Bonsai Tree decorated for the season. We can’t wait to see what the store has dreamt up for this year.

Pro Tip: You can see this display any time of the day, but we prefer to see it in the evening.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree.
Sue Davies / Travel for Life Now

8. American Girl, 75 Rockefeller Plaza

The American Girl team does holiday displays in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The window in New York is very large — 15 feet high and 24 feet wide. It used 15,000 fairy lights in the display. Last year, American Girl teamed up with Swarovski to create a beautiful display with 350 Swarovski crystal strands, and 130 pounds of crystal stardust. It also sold a Swarovski American Girls Doll with 5,000 Swarovski crystals and beads for $5,000.

Christmas Lights on the World Trade Center.
Sue Davies / Travel for Life Now

9. World Trade Center Lights (View From Fulton And Church Streets)

One of the newer places to see holiday lights on windows is the World Trade Center. Images of giant presents, ornaments, reindeer, and more appear on the building. These are seen at night from near the Oculus to The Shops at The Oculus (also called Westfield). While there, you can go inside the Oculus which also has a holiday market and lovely lighting and displays.

Pro Tip: The World Trade Center lights are best seen at night. If you want to explore further, take the underground passageway to the Brookfield Mall for more shopping and holiday displays. You’ll find the passageway as you walk towards the PATH trains on the right-hand side. You can also stop by the concierge and ask for directions.

10. Hudson Yards, Between West 30th And 34th Street From 10th To 12th Avenues

Opened in 2019, Hudson Yards has become a holiday (and year-round) destination with performances and wonderful Christmas and holiday displays. You can spend hours wandering the area — seeing The Vessel, enjoying performances, viewing outdoor art exhibits, and wandering into the shops. There is so much to do at Hudson Yards that you can spend the entire day there.

Christmas And Holiday Windows Pro Tips

The windows start being unveiled in mid-to-late November. Most are up until just after New Year’s Day. There are variations, however, so make sure to check the store’s website before you plan a trip.

You can try to do all these shops in 1 day or night, but we don’t recommend doing that. It’s best to space it out and combine it with other activities.

The World Trade Center, Louis Vuitton, Saks, and Cartier are best to do when it is dark.

We love to walk the city, so walking 50-60 blocks in a day is the normal way we get around. You can take subways, buses, or taxis to get around to see these displays. New York City is notorious for traffic and gridlock during the holidays so subways are much quicker than buses or cars.

The lights in the financial district (World Trade Center, Oculus, and Brookfield Place) can be seen in the late afternoon. You can combine it with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We prefer to visit the reflecting pools at night when they are peaceful and allow for reflection. Or, you can combine it with a trip to Freedom Tower (aka World Trade Center).

Another option is to do a midtown/eastside loop starting at Macy’s (on 34th and 6th avenues), going east to 5th Avenue and walking up from 34th Street to 59th Street. You can then go east to Bloomingdales on 3rd Avenue. 

A third option is to walk up 6th Avenue from Macy’s and 34th Street to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree and American Girl. On this route, you’ll also pass by the Empire State Building and one of the largest holiday markets in the city at Bryant Park.

If you are a walker, then you can combine the 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue walks. Go north on 6th Avenue from Macy’s to Rockefeller Center and then cut over east to 5th Avenue and go north up to 59th Street.

See one Christmas window or see all 10. Explore and find other windows that you love. Whatever you decide to do, New York is a fantastic place to celebrate the holidays.

While you’re in New York City, check out some of the other exciting things to do:

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Glasgow traffic live updates with all the latest travel news from across the city today

Scotrail train cancellations

A number of trains have been cancelled across Scotrail, mostly due to staffing issues.

08:14 Airdrie to Balloch due 09:33

08:20 Glasgow Central to Lanark due 09:14

08:45 Inverurie to Aberdeen due 09:09

09:17 Motherwell to Dalmuir due 10:21

09:20 Edinburgh to Bathgate due 09:45

09:38 Balloch to Airdrie due 10:57

10:17 Cumbernauld to Dalmuir due 11:51

12:17 Dalmuir to Larkhall due 13:27

12:25 Helensburgh Central to Edinburgh due 14:28

13:33 Larkhall to Dalmuir due 14:42

14:37 Edinburgh to Helensburgh Central due 16:43

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What to do and where to stay on a city break to the Big Apple

Travel essentials

When to go

There’s never a bad time to visit New York, but with the US now open again to visitors from the UK and Europe and Thanksgiving taking place next week, hotel prices have shot up. Luckily, The City That Never Sleeps also doesn’t hibernate. So while the warmer months are wonderful for eating al-fresco or rooftop cocktails, winter is just as lively. From ice-skating in Central Park (1) to pictures by the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (2), the festive season in the world’s most filmed city always delivers some movie magic.
The pandemic has seen the city embrace all-season outdoor dining. Each restaurant has its own take on the dining hut, with some streets bursting with diners eating below wooden cframes and plastic tarp.

Where to stay

Pendry Manhattan West (3) (pendry.com) opened in September, bringing SoCal cool to the edge of Manhattan’s luxury new riverside district, Hudson Yards. Its raison d’être as a high- end sanctuary apart from Manhattan matches that of the high-rise new development that it borders. There’s a rooftop bar, Peloton gym (guests can order the bikes to their room), Eastern Med restaurant Zou Zous, and the Garden Room – a relaxed, leafy space for light bites and evening cocktails. The building’s rippling glass façade is meant to evoke Pacific waves, while inside it’s contemporary-cool with fireplaces and an attention to the art of great lighting, especially at exclusive Bar Pendry. Doubles from $514 (£379).

Henn na Hotel (4) (hennnahotelny.com) – “Strange Hotel” in Japanese – opened its doors to families and tech-nerds in October. It’s the first US outpost of a Tokyo classic, where guests are checked in by an animatronic T-Rex. Rooms at the Midtown hotel have cupboards that will clean and steam your clothes. Japanese breakfast lunch and dinner is at onsite sushi restaurant Gosuke. Doubles from $135 (£100).

How to get around

Contactless payments are now accepted across the MTA, making bus and metro travel a breeze (just tap once on the way in). Masks are mandatory and unlike London, everyone follows the rules. Above ground, Uber and Lyft were once king but with the pandemic prompting a boom in new cycle-lanes, the Citi Bike ride share scheme is now a real alternative for tourists. Find the docked cycles on almost every block – ebikes were introduced just before the pandemic – then unlock with the Citi Bike or Lyft app (from $3.50 for the first half hour). You must show your NHS Covid Pass to enter public indoor areas, including museums, restaurants and bars.


Start the day

Grab a stool at the bar at Baz Bagel (5) (bazbagel.com) for Jewish comfort food, with retro vibes – think diner style seating and Barbara Streisand on the stereo. The Little Italy institution does one of the city’s best lox salmon and cream cheese bagels.

Don’t miss

City Climb (edgenyc.com), New York’s stomach-dropping new attraction has just opened at the top of 30 Hudson Yards (6), the city’s 6th tallest building. For the world’s highest open air building ascent, thrill-seekers climb out onto the roof and hike 161 steps to the tip of the building. After admiring, or trying desperately to ignore, the view the final test is to dangle nearly 400 metres above the sidewalk below. Higher than the Empire State Building or The Shard, the skyscraper also has Edge, the highest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere that protrudes from the building at 100 storeys high for spectacular views over New York City and beyond from the west.

The Edge NYC at sunset (Photo: Related-Oxford)

In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (7) (mocada.org) focuses primarily on social justice through its public art exhibitions, by artists such as Caribbean-American Theda Sandiford. Open Fri-Sun, $10 (£7.50).

Time for a drink

The Garret in the West Village (thegarretwest.com) is, according to owner Gavin Moseley, “the best secret everyone knows about”. A spot to impress your partner with, the secret speakeasy is above a Five Guys on Bleecker Street (8). Enter the burger chain outlet and walk past the counter to a staircase that leads up to a hidden cocktail bar.

Dinner reservation

Forget the reservation, and head out on a pizza-slice crawl of the Village. Joe’s Pizza (9), the Greenwich Village institution on the corner at Bleecker and Carmine has been serving the classic New York slice for more than 37 years. For more toppings, see Bleecker Street Pizza (10), named best pizza in New York City three years running. Its chicken, bacon and ranch contains so much caramelised meat it would keep its form without the dough.


Go for a stroll

In the 12 years since opening, The High Line (11) – a park built on a disused elevated rail line – has flourished, with tree-lined sections at their fiery best in autumn. Traverse a mile and a half of Manhattan’s west side without ever stopping at a “crosswalk”, starting at Hudson Yards and finishing at the new Little Island park (12) (littleisland.org). Built atop 132 giant flower-shaped concrete “tulips” planted in the Hudson River, the park opened in May on the site of the storm-damaged Pier 55. There are lawns, paths, plants, viewing points and a 700-odd seat amphitheatre (free bookings mandatory in Spring and Summer).

Brunch break

Thai Diner (13) (thaidiner.com) is the new place to be on Mott St, Chinatown’s unofficial Main Street. The menu fuses American comfort food with Thai favourites while its bamboo-panelled walls and framed pictures of the late Thai King are Bangkok kitsch. Leave room for the extensive, diner-inspired dessert menu.

Wollman Rink in Central Park (Photo: NYC & Company)

Time to relax

Hop on a Citi Bike to explore the full scale of Central Park and find a quiet spot by one of its eight lakes. A six-mile cycle loop around the park gives you a feel for its scale (twice the size of London’s Regent’s Park).

Have a treat

Stop at Rice to Riches (14) (richtoriches.com) near Spring St Station for a rice pudding that’ll put nan’s Ambrosia to shame. Bowlfuls of the gloopy stuff are dished up in wacky flavours including Sex Drugs and Rocky Road, and Hazelnut Chocolate Bearhug.

Get out of town

Trains from Grand Central Station (15) to the seaside city of Milford, Connecticut take 1 hour 45. On the walk to Silver Sands State Park, pass homes on stilts built on the beach to defy the tides, then take a dip in the sea or wander the coastal park’s trails and boardwalks. Don’t miss the lobster rolls at Seven Seas or fully loaded hotdogs at Jake’s Diggity Dogs. For small town America, hop on a bus from New York Port Authority (16) to the village of New Paltz. Visitors to the Hudson Valley settlement can step back in time to America in the 1700s on Historic Huguenot Street or hike the S hawangunk Mountains.

Ask a local

Jennie Ng, Nurse

“Nitehawk Cinema (nitehawkcinema.com) in Williamsburg is my favourite. Old-ish, you can drink cocktails, order burgers and all sorts while you watch a movie. The theatre plays new, indie, and old school films. The last thing I watched there was Fear with Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon – part of the theatre’s erotic 90s thriller series.”

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Winter sun: Britain’s sunniest city named – ‘it all happens here!’ | Travel News | Travel

Britain’s weather may be one of the country’s favourite topics of discussion, but it’s rare to be positive. However, the grey skies and cold and wet weather could be nothing more than clichés.

A new study has named the sunniest cities in Britain, and they could be the perfect winter sun escapes for Britons in need of some rays.

Smart Energy GB partnered with climate activist and Springwatch star Chris Packham to commission a report compiled by Dr Tim Forman of the University of Cambridge.

The sunniest area of Britain was Southwest England, while the least sunny British area was Northwest Scotland.

The UK’s sunniest city was Plymouth.

Chris said: “Britain is blessed with four distinct seasons with clear changes in the weather, which is full of energy, notably the wind and – although it feels rare – the sunshine.”

READ MORE: British expats in Spain: Christmas food warning

The Devon waterfront city of Plymouth could be the best bet for Britons in search of UK winter sun.

In Plymouth, holidaymakers can go to the beach at Wembury or explore the largest park in the city, Central Park.

History lovers will want to go to the Mayflower Steps, the departure point of Sir Francis Drake and the 102 pilgrims who sailed for North America in 1620.

On Tripadvisor, Steve and Andie said: “Good to see this area has been refurbished and keeping history alive.

“It may not have been the original site where the Mayflower set off from but very close to it, that being situated in the ladies loo of the nearby pub!”


Other points of interest in the city include Smeatons Tower, a lighthouse built in 1759 by John Smeaton, and the Barbican and Sutton Harbour area.

Tracey G said: “When you think of Plymouth you think of the lighthouse – apart from The Mayflower, Francis Drake, The Spanish Armada, Francis Chichester. Wow! It all happens here!”

There are over 200 listed buildings lining the cobbled streets of the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, as well as Elizabethan Gardens.

Not far from the city, Saltram is a National Trust country estate with 500 acres of grounds and the garden is currently open.

Britons can also head to Drake’s Island on a guided tour or sample the gins at Plymouth Gin.

Tony W said: “Having for many years viewed Drakes Island from Plymouth, it was an experience to see it from the other side and learn about the history and possible future of the island.”

Trevor H wrote: “I have lived or worked in Plymouth for nearly 35 years and had not set foot on the Island, my wife however, had been on one of the adventure weeks there whilst in the 6th Form at school ‘quite a few years ago!’

“The trip is suitable for all ages who can manage steps and uneven terrain as the island’s vegetation, pathways are just being brought under control after being left for many years.

“The plans for what is to happen are fantastic and I await their completion before my next visit which is hopefully within the next seven to 10 years.”

Britain’s sunniest cities


2. Exeter

3. London

4. Norwich

5. Oxford

6. Huddersfield

7. Liverpool

8. Manchester

9. Bristol

10. Sunderland


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Travel alert issued for Valley City area due to icy conditions

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – The North Dakota Department of Transportation and ND Highway Patrol have issued a travel alert for the Valley City Area.

Officials say freezing rain and icy roads are creating hazardous driving conditions.

For more information on road conditions across the state, call 511 or by visiting the ND Roads map.

Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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Coronavirus live updates: New York City cuts vaccine mandate deal with unions

Missouri Attorney General Eric S. Schmitt led the coalition — which includes the attorneys general in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — joined by private and nonprofit groups in filing the document denouncing Biden’s latest mandate as “unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.” All but Iowa have a Republican attorney general.

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13 Unique Tours To Experience In Kansas City

My wife and I visit Kansas City a lot. It’s about a 3-hour drive from Omaha, so it makes for a fun and accessible getaway. It can also create challenging ways to view a city we’ve come to know well over the years. My brother-in-law once joked (I think) that I know my way around the KC area better than he does.

We enjoy exploring Kansas City’s neighborhoods, dining scene, and history, among other fun attractions. As my wife, Lisa, and I plan our visits to the City of Fountains, we strive to find something new or unique to try. So, signing up for guided tours offers an opportunity to see Kansas City through someone else’s eyes. From a gangster tour to local coffee shops, city tours are an excellent way to see something new and learn new things about an area’s history.

Here’s a look at a baker’s dozen of tours to help you explore Kansas City.

Alley murals in the Crossroads District with Urban Hikes KC
Alley murals in the Crossroads District with Urban Hikes KC (Photo Credit: Tim Trudell)

1. Urban Hikes KC

Whether you’re an art fan or history buff, Urban Hikes KC combines Kansas City attractions with a little exercise. Each hike covers 3 to 4 miles while including stops such as Crossroad Art District’s galleries, museums, and alley murals, or the history of Kansas City (Kansas), the ethnic groups calling the famous Strawberry Hill area home, and its beautiful historic murals. With 11 urban hikes available, there’s much to explore, including making your own pottery.

2. KC Fun Tours

Hop aboard a historic trolley for a 75-minute cruise through Kansas City’s history. Sit back and relax and learn about some of the city’s impressive history while enjoying its beautiful architecture during your adventure with KC Fun Tours. Among the history you can expect to learn about includes Union Station and City Market, Kansas City’s year-round farmer’s market. KC Fun Tours is perfect for seasonal celebrations, such as Country Club Plaza’s holiday lights. The Crazy Little Women Tour offers a two-hour look at some of the great women who have influenced the city’s history. 

Pro Tip: Open seasonally March-December, the tour starts and ends at the historic Union Station.

3. KC Barbecue Tours

Of course, Kansas City has a barbecue tour. With more than 100 barbecue joints, KC Barbecue Tours takes you beyond the well-known eateries, offering a look at — and taste of — some of the off-the-beaten path barbecue restaurants in the metropolitan area. Tours typically visit four spots, with each providing delicious samples and water. Adult beverages can always be purchased during stops. The family-friendly tour includes transportation to each restaurant. KC Barbecue Tours also offers private tours.

Pro Tip: If you have dietary restrictions, let KC Barbecue Tours know in advance, so it can do its best to accommodate them. Vegetarian and vegan options will be limited.

DC-3 plane at Roasterie Coffee Company
Tim Trudell

4. The Roasterie Coffee Company

The historic DC-3 airplane outside The Roasterie Coffee Company’s main location hints that you’re in for a unique visit. Before sampling a delicious cup of coffee made with freshly roasted beans, enjoy a fun and informative tour of the warehouse and roasting process. An hour-long tour, which is free, takes you through a brief history of the creation of coffee — you can thank an ancient goat herder — as well as the roasting process. You’ll be salivating for a cup of brew by the end of the tour. You’ll also appreciate the work that goes into making the tasty coffee, espresso, or latte — with a cute heart or other artwork the barista adds —  at The Roasterie.

Pro Tip: The Roasterie has four other locations in the area, as well as providing coffee packages in stores, restaurants, and hotels.

Nelson Atkins Museum on KC Segway Tours
Nelson Atkins Museum on KC Segway Tours (EQRoy / Shutterstock.com)

5. KC Segway Tours

Explore Kansas City’s history and art while riding a Segway. Featuring stops at some of the city’s sites, such as Nelson Atkins Museum, Country Club Plaza, and the historic Westport neighborhood, the museum, pranks, and history is one of the fun tours offered by KC Segway Tours. Art enthusiasts enjoy touring the public art at the Nelson Atkins Museum’s sculpture garden, as well as the fountains and sculptures at Country Club Plaza. History tours include looks into the city’s train and covered wagon trails, including stops at the Liberty Memorial and 18th and Vine District. Bicycle tours are also offered, featuring tours of Kansas City’s barbecue and beer scene. 

Interior of Boulevard Brewing
Tim Trudell

6. Boulevard Brewing Company

Learn the story behind Kansas City’s popular brewery as you traverse the Boulevard Brewing Company’s campus, watching the brew-making process. Learn about the beer’s history and what makes it so popular, not just in Kansas City, but across the country. You’ll see artifacts and memorabilia, such as ads, bottles, and bottlecaps. Each tour’s conclusion includes a sample drink. While you must be at least 21 to drink, tours are open for people seven years old and older.

Pro Tip: The majority of the brewery tour is accessible, but a few spots are stairs-only.

City Market on KC Walking Tours
Tim Trudell

7. KC Walking Tours

Explore Kansas City architecture, history, art, and even its food scene, close-up with KC Walking Tours. Lasting from 1 to 2 hours, adventures cover half-a-mile to 1.5 miles. Explore the historic River Market area, including City Market and the neighborhood’s architecture. Downtown walking tours showcase the city’s beautiful architecture and historical anecdotes. A food tour explores cuisine in the River Market, while a brewery tour covers beer joints. You can also enjoy a hop on and off streetcar tour. Each tour is led by a guide knowledgeable of city history and fun facts.

Pro Tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes for the tour. KC Walking Tours will do its best to accommodate wheelchairs and walking frames on tours. Pets are not allowed on the tour.

Kansas City River Market
Jon Kraft / Shutterstock.com

8. Taste of KC Food Tours

Everyone knows Kansas City is home to great barbecue, but its culinary scene is so much more than great ribs, brisket, and burnt ends. Taste of KC Food Tours takes you on a 3-hour tour of unique local eateries in the River Market and Crossroads Art districts. Bring your appetite, as you’ll be sampling local dining spots featuring pizza, hoagies, and even international fare. Check out the Prohibition Tour, taking you to speakeasies and brothels that once thumbed their noses to the ban on alcohol and fun. You’ll also enjoy a private tour of a distillery in the 3.5-hour tour. Of course, there will be cocktails.

Pro Tip: As you travel by bus between restaurants, your guide will share fun historical facts about the area.

9. First Fridays

First Fridays celebrate Kansas City art, as galleries, studios, and museums in the Crossroads Art District open their doors, staying open late on the first Friday of the month. Enjoy a self-guided walk through the area, taking in the eclectic art scene, celebrating local artists, as well as nationally known creators. Stop in at any of the unique shops and boutiques in the district. Don’t forget to enjoy dinner at a local eatery or a drink at a bar or tasting room.

Bullet hole at the renovated train depot
Bullet hole at the renovated train depot (Photo Credit: Tim Trudell)

10. Gangster Tours

From the Kansas City “Massacre” and mobster boss Tom Pendergast’s rule, the city has seen its share of organized crime. The KC Gangster Tour starts at Union Station, site of a major shootout in 1933, when Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd and others attacked law enforcement officers escorting a colleague to jail. You can still see a bullet hole outside the renovated train depot. Learn about Kansas City’s seedy history on your 90-minute guided tour.

Pro Tip: Tours are offered each Saturday.

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum (Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com)

11. Pioneer Trails Adventures

See where President Harry S. Truman worked as a youth, the jail where outlaw brothers Jesse and Frank James were held, and first lady Bess Truman’s birthplace among the historical sites on tours offered by Pioneer Trails Adventures in Independence. Horse-drawn covered wagons take you on 20–30-minute tours of Truman’s hometown. Taking off from the National Frontier Trails Museum, Pioneer Trails Adventures also offers an hour-long city tour, holiday lights outing, and ghost tours.

Pro Tip: Combine your tour with a visit to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

Unique tastes can be found on the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl
Unique tastes can be found on the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl (Photo Credit: Caffeine Crawl)

12. Caffeine Crawl

Originating in Kansas City in 2011, Caffeine Crawl has become popular around the country. But, maintaining its roots, Caffeine Crawl traverses the city highlighting unique local coffeehouses and tea shops. Crawlers select a tour route and meet their guide at the participating locations, where they learn about the coffee shop’s history and bean roasting before sampling drinks specially created for the tour. With five to six stops, a Caffeine Crawl lasts up to five hours.

Pro Tip: You may want to bring a bottle of water along on the tour to hydrate between stops.

Hallmark crowns at the Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center
Hallmark crowns at the Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center (Photo Credit: Tim Trudell)

13. Self-Guided Tours

Create your own tour of Kansas City with a self-guided tour. From exploring downtown architecture, Crossroads art, and the city’s water fountains, Kansas City is your blank canvas. How about creating your own Kansas City film tour? The neat thing about a self-guided tour is that you can mix and match attractions, such as exploring Union Station and the World War I Memorial along with the historic Crown Center and Hallmark.

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City rolling out trolley to promote travel through downtown area | Local News

A pilot project to encourage people to enjoy downtown Greenville and its businesses rolled out today.

Emerald Express is a trolley that will offer free transportation along a 13-stop route throughout the center city area.

The trolley will operate from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The continuous loop begins and ends at the G.K. Butterfield Transportation Center and travels the route approximately every 20 minutes. Stops include the Butterfield Center, Dickinson Avenue, Five Points Plaza, Evans Street, the Town Common, the Fourth Street parking garage, the Greenville Museum of Art and more, according to a city news release.

“It originated through conversations with the arts council related to the Emerald Loop,” said Brock Letchworth, Greenville communications manager.

The thought was the trolley would provide transportation services while serving as a form of art circulating through the center city, he said.

The city received a donation of three trolleys from the City of Charlotte. One vehicle a day will be used.

The Emerald Loop, a project of the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge, is a circuit created to connect the city’s artistic and cultural sites while bringing together neighborhoods and the community.

“The vision is to have the trolleys or vehicles partnering with the city to take us along a route that will help spur, especially now, economic recovery,” said Holly Garriott, Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge’s executive director. “It’s an entertainment kind of transit that you can get on and see all our cultural amenities.”

Garriott said another exciting aspect of the project is that many of the stops along the newly launched African American Cultural Trail are along the trolley’s route.

“It’s really about connecting our center city, connecting our communities and businesses,” Garriott said. It also will bring lots of people to public transportation, she said.

Letchworth said the Emerald Express is a pilot project that is expected to run through the spring.

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WTM London 2021: City breaks to shine next summer | News

Almost a third of Brits who are planning an overseas holiday 2022 want to book a city break.

That is according to research released today by WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry.

The WTM Industry Report, a poll of 1,000 consumers, found that 648 were planning to take an overseas holiday in 2022 – and cities were the second most popular choice, after the most favoured option of the beach.

The finding that 30 per cent want to take a city break next year will come as a boost to hoteliers and airlines across Europe, who have been badly hit by the drastic downturn in business travel and events amid the pandemic.

The Business Travel Association estimates that, in a normal year, £220 billion is added to UK GDP, thanks to business travel trips originating in the UK.

The association said there were nearly nine million business trips originating from the UK in 2019, resulting in about 50 million overnight stays – with more than half being for less than three nights.

Also, business travellers account for 15-20 per cent of airline customers and, on certain routes, they are twice as profitable as leisure travellers.

However, travel management companies have seen a collapse in revenue during the pandemic of up to 90 per cent.

According to Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, city destinations have been especially adversely affected by the pandemic, in part because of the downturn in business travel and events.

Furthermore, the forecasters say business travel’s recovery will lag behind the leisure bounce-back.

Traditional beach holidays will remain in demand – as findings from the WTM London report show – but city breaks offer a chance for hotel chains to tap into the post-pandemic demand from consumers to indulge in more luxurious escapes and spend their savings on a second or third holiday during 2022.

And the trend could prove to be a longer-term shift too, as Bloomberg research suggests that most large companies plan to spend less on travel post-pandemic – online communication tools, cost savings and sustainability targets all mean that hotels and airlines may have to rely on fewer corporate travellers in the future than they did before Covid-19.

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