The Florida Beach Town Where the Amish Go on Vacation

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In the coming months, with the arrival of low temperatures and the slowdown of the farming season, thousands of Amish people in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania will pack their bags and head south to a snowbird paradise that has attracted Plain People since the early 20th century—Pinecraft, Florida.

Located on the Gulf Coast, Pinecraft is an idyllic place nestled a few miles from the crystalline beaches of Sarasota, dotted with cozy white bungalows and oak trees strewn with Spanish moss. The Amish first arrived in Pinecraft in the 1920s, back when the area was little more than a tourist campground. At first, farmers hoped to plant celery in the region, but the soil proved to be better suited as a spot to lounge in the sun than it did for gardening. In 1946, the Tourist Mennonite Church in Florida was established in Pinecraft so that the Amish could “take vacations without breaking their beliefs,” Atlas Obscura reports. Over the coming decades, word of mouth spread up north. Today, approximately 5000 Amish and (some) Mennonite people visit Pinecraft every year to relax during the winter months.

Most Amish visitors make the long trip by charter bus. In 2012, Miki Meek of The New York Times hopped on one such bus in Ohio and traveled 19 hours to Florida. She described the scene aboard: “Stiff black hats are gingerly stowed in overhead bins as the bus winds its way through hilly farm country ... grandparents, neighbors, sisters, and childhood friends ... talked into the night, using conversation as entertainment instead of movies or music.”

Down in Pinecraft, crowds of Amish people welcome the arrival of each bus. There, visitors can expect to see men and women in traditional dress. “Clothing choices clue you in to hometowns,” Meek wrote. “Men from Tampico, Illinois, wear denim overalls; girls from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, cover their dresses with black aprons; and women from northern Indiana have neatly pressed pleats on their white bonnets.” It’s one of the few places in America where different communities of Amish have the opportunity to mingle.

However, the rules here are much more lax, with vacationers often showing much more skin than usual. Many of the rental homes, which sometimes have to be booked a year in advance, have electricity. (Overall, the restrictions preventing the Amish from connecting to the public power grid aren't as tight when a home is temporary.) Rather than riding in a horse and buggy, many people move around Pinecraft on tricycles. Most days are punctuated by fish fries, auctions, yard sales, and fierce bocce matches, with shuffleboard, the nightly women’s volleyball game, and live musical performances being the biggest draws.

As Meek reported, many people joke that the village is the closest thing the Amish have to Las Vegas: “What happens in Pinecraft, stays in Pinecraft.”

Hotel in Japan Is Offering Rooms for $1 Per Night—If You Agree to Livestream Your Stay

DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images
DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images

Many people are happy to document their vacations online without getting paid to do it. Now, as The Washington Post reports, exhibitionists who can't resist low prices are now eligible to book a hotel room in Fukuoka, Japan for just $1 a night. In return, they must agree to livestream their experience.

Tetsuya Inoue, the manager of Asahi Ryokan in Fukuoka, got the idea for the marketing stunt after one of his guests broadcast his stay voluntarily. Inoue figured that if people are already comfortable sharing their private moments in the hotel with the world, he might as well use that to his advantage.

The "One Dollar Hotel" promotion is a way for Inoue to bring attention to the 30-year-old guesthouse, which is owned by his grandmother. For $1—a fee that covers lodging, taxes, and tips—customers have access to a room that normally costs $27 a night. As guests eat, sleep, and get ready for the day, a camera installed in the room livestreams their every move to the hotel's YouTube channel. The only place where they have privacy is in the bathroom. Signs in the room warn guests not to engage in any "lewd acts" and to keep passports and credit cards out of the camera's field of view.

In addition to generating publicity for Asahi Ryokan, Inoue hopes that his YouTube videos will eventually become popular enough to monetize. Five guests have agreed to the deal so far, and after launching in October, the One Dollar Hotel YouTube channel already has close to 15,000 subscribers.

[h/t The Washington Post]

Planning a Trip? These Are the 10 U.S. Airlines Most Likely to Bump You

shironosov/iStock via Getty Images
shironosov/iStock via Getty Images

Booking your trip home for the holidays in advance is no guarantee you'll make it on the plane. Even after driving to the airport, making it through security, and getting to your gate on time, there's still a chance you'll be bumped from the flight you originally paid for. Overbooking is part of most airlines' business models, so there's no way to completely safeguard yourself against this inconvenient scenario. But in addition to paying extra for a higher-class ticket and checking in early as possible, you can reduce your risk of getting bumped by knowing which airlines are most likely to do it.

Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines are by far the most notorious when it comes to bumping passengers, Travel + Leisure reports. They were the stand-out airlines in a recent analysis by Upgraded Points that looked at which U.S. commercial aviation companies are most likely to involuntarily deny boarding to customers.

According to the report, Frontier bumped 6.28 people per every 100,000 passengers in 2018. In that same year, Spirit bumped 5.57 out of every 100,000 passengers. Those airlines were twice as likely as any other name on the list to stop people from boarding their flights. The closest behind them was Alaska Airlines with 2.3 bumps per every 100,000 customers.

The good news is that your overall chances of getting bumped from a flight are smaller than they were a few years ago. Upgraded Points found that the phenomena reached its peak in the second half of 2016, and rates had dropped significantly by the end of 2018.

If you'd still like to do everything in your power to make sure you make it onto your flight, check out the list below of the airlines that bump the most passengers before booking your holiday travel. And if you have been bumped in the past, here's how to collect the compensation you may be owed.

  1. Frontier Airlines
  1. Spirit Airlines
  1. Alaska Airlines
  1. PSA Airlines
  1. American Airlines
  1. Mesa Airlines
  1. Skywest Airlines
  1. Southwest Airlines
  1. Allegiant Air
  1. Republic Airlines

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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