Welcome to Fodor’s Hot List, a weekly roundup of the places and things we’re talking about right now. Each week, our editors are deluged with travel news and tips from far-flung correspondents. Whether it’s a just-opened boutique hotel in Prague, a sizzling new restaurant in Singapore, an emerging shopping district in London or can’t-miss museum show in Rome, we’ve got our collective ear to the ground for our readers. By tuning in to Fodor’s Hot List every week, you can stay ahead of the curve — and the crowds — in your favorite destinations.
1. Eat: Stone crab season
Stone crab claws may be pricey, but they’re a succulent treat that can be hard to find. The renowned Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach has been serving up the prized crustacean — steamed, cracked, and served chilled with a simple mustard or cocktail sauce — since 1921. But if you can’t get south this year, there’s always Joe’s Seafood in Las Vegas (in the Forums Shops at Caesars) and Chicago (60 E. Grand), where they fly them in fresh. Get there before the season ends in mid-May.
2. Drink: Warm up with ice wine
The appellation ice wine isn’t some clever marketing scheme; it’s actually made from grapes that are frozen on the vine to intensify their flavor. The resulting wine is sweet, yet balanced with acidity to give a clean, refreshing finish. Immerse yourself in Canada’s coolest tradition at the 12th Niagara Ice Wine Festival in Ontario. The 10-day event draws 150,000 people for a cold-weather program featuring ice wine, ice art, and Canada’s largest outdoor ice bar, all with the stunning backdrop of the semi-frozen falls. Niagara Ice Wine Festival January 19-28, 2007.
3. Shop: Super souvenirs
These days, it’s easy for travelers to get to an exotic destination, but it’s nearly impossible for them to find a unique souvenir. We like big department stores like Takashimaya, in Tokyo, and London’s Harrods for their bounties of unusual items like regional spices, teas, wines and confections. Some, like Galeries Lafayette in Paris, have café areas so you can sample their sweet and savory wares before sending them home.
4. See: The “It” museum
The recent debut of Factory Girl — the big-screen biopic about Andy Warhol and his muse Edie Sedgwick — has resurrected 1970s pop art style. Although Warhol found fame in downtown Manhattan, the Andy Warhol Museum is in his hometown of Pittsburgh, appropriately housed in a renovated warehouse. The collection features more than 8,000 works, including drawings, films, paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture. Go on Friday nights when there’s a cash bar and admission is half price.
5. Stay: Lay down during your layover
Japanese airports have a reputation for being exceptionally well-serviced, and Narita Airport is no exception. If you have a long layover and need a nap, check in to one of the “day and shower” rooms. For prices starting at 1000 yen (about $8.50), travelers get an immaculate private room with a freshly made bed and a shower stocked with toiletries. There’s even a concierge who’ll give you a wake-up call so you don’t miss your flight. Look for the Shower icon on Narita Airport maps. Available in terminals 1 and 2. (London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports have a slightly more upscale take on the airport-as-hotel concept.)
Credit: Andy Warhol, Liz, 1965, silkscreen ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 40 x 40 in. Copyright AWF.