Forget the Cruise—You Should See the Northern Lights by Plane


While taking an Arctic cruise is a classic way to catch a scenic glimpse of the aurora borealis, there are more picturesque northern lights sightings to be had. To get really up-close and personal with the astronomical phenomenon, you should hop a plane, according to Lonely Planet.

The Aurora 360 trip is specifically designed to give travelers in the Yukon the best glimpse possible of the aurora, as well as a few extras to make their Canadian vacation even better. In addition to the aurora-focused plane ride, the five-day trip scheduled for February 2019 includes a tour of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, a trip to the Takhini Hot Springs, and cultural events, plus accommodations and various dinners.

The private chartered flight will take off either on February 8 or February 9, depending on the forecast for the day. You’ll get to experience the joys of seeing the lights from 36,000 feet in the air, while sipping on gin and getting a lesson on celestial photography from on-board photographer Neil Zeller. The Aurora 360 flight is the only flight in the world to take off within the aurora oval, the area where the lights are most visible, according to Lonely Planet, so you’re guaranteed to get a unique experience.

The trip is scheduled for February 7 to February 11, 2019. There are only 80 seats available on the flight, so you’d better get planning. The full package costs roughly $2250, while a seat on the flight costs roughly $800.

Get a taste of what the experience is like in the promo video below.

Air North's Aurora 360 Flight to the Lights, Nov 25, 2017 from Neil Zeller on Vimeo.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

Lucy the Elephant, a Jersey Shore Landmark, Is Now Booking Overnight Guests Through Airbnb

Aneese, iStock via Getty Images
Aneese, iStock via Getty Images

One of the Jersey Shore's most iconic landmarks is hard to miss. Constructed in 1881, Lucy the Elephant looms six stories over tourists in Margate City, which is five miles south of Atlantic City in New Jersey. As Travel + Leisure reports, Airbnb is opening the unique building to overnight visitors for the first time since 1902.

Lucy has been a real estate office, a restaurant, and a private home. But for three nights in March, she'll be an Airbnb. The listing, written from the elephant's perspective, reads, "I take pride in being one of the last of my kind, with tourists still flocking to see me every year, delighting young and old generations alike. I am a National Historic Landmark and the oldest roadside attraction in America—older than even the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in Paris!"

The one bedroom inside embodies a "fun eclectic Victorian vibe" that mimics the retro exterior. In addition to the trunk on Lucy's face, there's an antique trunk where guests can store their clothes. The space also features flower arrangements, a canopy bed, and a view of the ocean.

The Airbnb is hosted by Richard Helfant, who first started volunteering at the site as a teenager 50 years ago. Lucy was nearly demolished in 1969 following years of neglect, but thanks to a group of volunteers, the structure was renovated and reopened to visitors. Today Helfant is the director of the nonprofit that maintains and runs the tourist attraction, which welcomes about 132,000 people to the landmark each year.

Lucy the Elephant is available to rent for March 17, 18, and 19, and stays costs $138 per night. If you're interested in taking a Jersey Shore vacation of epic proportions, try booking the listing when it goes live on March 5.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Can You Identify the U.S State by Its License Plate?

These non-U.S. license plates won't give away any quiz answers.
These non-U.S. license plates won't give away any quiz answers.
Zuberka/iStock via Getty Images

Long before cars came with built-in TV screens, and streaming services let you download movies for offline viewing, kids passed many a road trip with round after round of the license plate game. If you’ve never played, the rules are pretty simple: Try to spot a license plate from as many different states as possible before you reach your destination. The winner is whoever scores the highest (or whoever reaches all 50 states first).

For anyone who has played the license plate game, this quiz might be a breeze. Each question gives you the name of a state and asks you to choose its corresponding license plate from five options. Although the state names have been erased from the plates, the designs themselves still offer useful clues. A few of them list the year that state was annexed, while others depict recognizable geographical features, landmarks, animals, or foods. Others include the state nickname, which can be helpful—the license plate that reads “Aloha State,” for example, is probably not Minnesota.

The quiz, created by vehicle leasing service Vanarama, comprises 10 questions, which change each time you play. In other words, you should definitely take it at least a few times to really show off all your state knowledge. After each question, it’ll reveal whether you’ve chosen correctly, highlight the right answer if need be, and give you a little background information about the license plate.

Try your hand at it below: