The unassuming Yakima valley long went unnoticed by the international wine community. What first appeared to be scrubland and gentle farming areas has exploded onto the scene in the last decade as a wine oasis. Massive amounts of nutrient rich soil were thrust across the lowlands of Washington when a glacial dam carved a path across the face of the state and out to the Pacific Ocean hundreds of thousands of years ago. The result today is a sunny valley, located at the same latitude as the Bordeaux region in France, with prime conditions and optimal soil for raising award-winning vineyards. [Go there...]
Sports bars will be packed in the coming weeks with crowds gathering to catch the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. For some fans, the experience rivals attending a game in person. "This is the golden age of for sports bars. The TV viewing experience has gotten so good," says Darren Rovell, an ESPN sports business reporter. He shares some favorite spots to cheer on your team with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. [Go there...]
Some of the best views in the U.S. look even better when they're free. Take advantage of nine days of complimentary admission to America's national parks—the first is Jan. 20—so you can savor the spectacular scenery and discover the history of these unique places.
If your new year's resolution is to add some culture to your life, don't think it has to be boring. Head to a museum and you may hear some wild tales, saysHarriet Baskas, author of Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can't or Won't Show You (Globe Pequot, $19.95). "People are more than happy to tell you if you just ask," she says. She shares some hidden treasures with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. (Call ahead, because these exhibits aren't always on display.) [Go there...]