Top places to see before they're wiped out

Climate change threatens some of the planet's most beautiful islands, historic coastlines and largest cities

Humans love the coasts; the first civilizations were built along them, and along the rivers and lakes that flow into them. Humans do not love the coasts enough to protect them. Plastic waste washes up on beaches around the world, traveling from one continent to another and overwhelming whatever small group of people are responsible for cleaning it up. On coasts where there are no people, it collects. This is not the worst case scenario for everyone's favorite coastlines. The worst case scenario is extreme flooding (ask Miami Beach) followed by, according to most models, submersion.

What happens to a resort town when the beach suddenly moves a hundred yards inland? What happens when the waters move in on an island town where people struggle for food rather than with a greasy bottle of sunscreen? What happens when the subway tunnels of Manhattan flood beyond the pumps' capacities and the waters creep up to FDR Drive and the Westside Highway?

One inevitable consequence: the people on the coasts will have to crowd inland and the people living inland will not be happy about it.

Whether you believe that humans are responsible or not (we are), the waters are, undoubtedly, rising and with them, the future costs of flood defense and repairs. Famous beaches and coastlines could disappear. Tourism and farming economies in many coastal areas will suffer. Look at it a different way: the homes of millions of people—even entire countries—are in danger of rising sea levels. These are some of the stunning, important and delicate places at risk of disappearing.

Venice, Italy


Venice—Italy's romantic, legendary, literary, beautiful floating city—is sinking. Flooding has been a regular, fairly manageable problem for the city for decades but it is becoming worse due the rising water under and around Venice. According to city measurements, the Adriatic Sea and the Venice Lagoon have risen 5.5 inches since 1900. They will continue to rise, and more quickly, as global water levels rise. A city that has lost nearly two thirds of its full-time residents (as tourists sweep in as quickly as the waters) in a matter of decades risks losing more as its buildings sink and their foundations erode.

Venice is working on a system of hinged walls, called the Mose Project, that can be raised from the sea floor during floods to block the high waters from reaching the city. The system is unprecedented and officials hope it will work. Final cost estimates are now $5-6 billion. There are currently no alternatives. Visit Venice (just don't take a cruise) and, while you're there, spend money in the city—support its economy so that it can continue its survival efforts.

Kiribati (Charly W. Karl)


In the central Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is a country of just under 110,000 people that sits on 33 coral atolls). The biggest of which, South Tarawa, has a population density comparable to Tokyo. These atolls are low-lying and face extreme flooding from even small rises in ocean levels.

The president of these beautiful, Pacific Islands, Anote Tong, fears total "uninhabitability." He hopes to focus flood defense efforts on at least one island but acknowledges the impossibility of the task ahead. In 2014, his government bought five thousand acres in Fiji to give to the citizens of Kiribati who will be displaced by water in the future. Fly or float to the Kiribati islands and meet the residents of this Pacific island nation.

Maldive Islands

Maldive Islands

The Maldives, an archipelago spanning one thousand kilometers in the Indian Ocean, is the lowest-lying country in the world. Like Kiribati, the islands are made up of coral reefs and face immediate threats in addition to looming flooding. In addition to raising ocean levels around the world—the long-term, extreme danger for the islands—the changing climate has warmed the oceans and acidified them.

Earth's oceans absorb over 90% of the increase in the planet's heat. Warmer water forces algae away from the coral, causing bleaching events that, if too severe or frequent, could kill the coral. This would literally undermine atoll countries like Kiribati and the Maldives. In 2008, the president of the Maldives announced that he was in talks with countries such as Sri Lanka and India to buy land for the 300,000 Maldives citizens who could be forced from their islands by flooding. Next time you're planning an island escape, check out the resorts on the Maldives.

Solomon Islands (Facebook)

Solomon Islands

Northeast of Australia, another chain of atolls, the Solomon Islands, has already begun to disappear beneath the rising Pacific. The Sydney Morning Herald says its capital, Taro Island, could become "the first provincial capital in the world to be abandoned due to climate change." The island briefly disappeared during a tsunami in 2007, when 52 people died because there was no higher land to which to evacuate. Researchers have already recorded five Solomon Islands that have drowned completely and six more that are suffering extreme erosion. Their study showed that the rate of sea level rise in this area is three times higher than average. Visit the islands and learn more about how to help.

St. Mary Lake

Glacier National Park

Of the 150 ice sheets that, in the early 1900s, covered the mountains that make up Glacier National Park in Montana, less than 30 remain. On average, the glaciers in the park have been reduced by 39% in the past 50 years.

Not only do disappearing glaciers mean cosmetic changes for the national park named after them, but also a changing water supply. While populations continue to grow, the supply of fresh water usually stored by the glaciers is melting and struggling to refreeze in the way the ecosystem is used to. Fish and other animals that depend on cold streams and snow-covered forests will have to abandon the area and move increasingly northward. In 2012, 2 million tourists to Glacier National Park contributed $172 million to Montana's economy. All of that could change with the changing park ecosystem. Explore the park to learn about how to preserve it for the future.

Miami Beach

U.S. coastal cities

Some of the biggest urban travel destinations in the U.S. are also some of the country's largest population centers. Manhattan, Southern Florida and other coastal cities contain millions of residents whose communities and homes will be threatened by rising waters. Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the crippling effects of severe storm flooding in New York, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Sandy-sized storms ($75 billion in damage) have been and will continue to occur more and more often, according to a sediment study in PNAS.

East River, New York (Jared Verdi)

According to the projected 6-foot sea level change possible by 2100, New York, Queens, Kings, Nassau and Suffolk counties (including and surrounding Manhattan) are at severe risk for flooding or worse. This area includes hundreds of thousands of people who could be displaced. It also spells danger for the vast subway system beneath the boroughs. Beneath one station in Brooklyn, 650 gallons of water per minute pour from the bedrock.

Alan Weisman details the potential for catastrophe in his excellent book, The World Without Us: "'When this pump facility shuts down,' says [Paul] Schuber, 'in half an hour water reaches a level where trains can't pass anymore.'" Without the constant attention of hundreds of pumps throughout the city's subway system, flooding would be immediate and insurmountable, today. This will only get more dangerous.

Southern Florida also faces immense danger. In Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, 83.1% of its residents could be at risk. You can use the interactive Time map to explore the potential effects of climate change in your area.

This is not an East Coast problem; as many as 13.1 million people face danger along U.S. coastlines. A report by the NOAA and USGS warns that "all U.S. coasts are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise, erosion, storms and flooding."

Miami Beach

Cambridge, Massachusetts and Oakland, California are two more of the 670 coastal U.S. communities in danger of flooding. While local and federal politicians dance around the topic as if they fear some curse on their descendants (which their own political quarrels might, in the end, produce), some areas have already begun preparations for the inevitable. Since 2014, Miami Beach has been implementing a $400+ million electric pump system and raising its roads to save its picturesque residences and beaches.

Vacation cities and cultural centers around the world will be looking for solutions to the problems of rising waters. The futures of these islands, countries, cities and communities are not guaranteed. If you're the type of person who has an elaborate bucket list, it's time to start revising. Suddenly, some of your destinations might be places to see before they're gone. So go, see them, explore and learn, and, in the meantime, do whatever you can to help them survive.

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Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

Yet another clever twist on a weekday favorite! The paprika and garlic flavored cured sausage is a staple in our chopping baskets since it goes well with practically anything. Not only is Chorizo loved for its taste, but also for its ability to infuse sauces with its tantalizing flavor. This time around, HelloFresh has decided to spice up a classic bowl of bean chili with Spanish styling of a smokey mild chorizo. The end result? A mix of chorizo, red kidney beans, corn and avocado, and an irresistible flavor that everyone will love. This is just one of dozens of unique HelloFresh recipes you won't find anywhere else!

Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!

Travel Tips

8 of the Best Donut Spots In the United States

Celebrate National Donut Day with our favorite treats across the country.

November 5th marks one of 2020's two National Donut Days.

Occurring in both June and November, National Donut Day allows fans of those delectable yeasty treats to embrace their sweet tooth. But like any niche food group, people often take their donuts very, very seriously, and there are countless places to get your fix.

Below, we've rounded up some of the best donut spots across the country. From coast to coast, these bakeries are sure to impress even the pickiest donut-heads.

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop – Modesto, CA

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop

If you ever find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's worth taking a short trek out east towards Modesto for some of California's best donuts. Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop has remained family owned since its opening over 30 years ago, providing both tried-and-true classic donuts as well as experimental flavors and holiday specials. Even their 24-hour service doesn't diminish the line that trails out the door most mornings.

Dough — New York, NY

Dough \u2014 New York, NY

Donuts might not be the first circular, doughy treat you think of when it comes to New York City. If you've had your fair share of bagels, the Big Apple also boasts some spectacular donuts at Dough, a go-to spot for both tourists and locals alike. Here, you'll find a host of Latin American-inspired flavors that are hard to come by anywhere else; their Dulce de Leche flavor is a customer favorite, while the tangy Hibiscus donut is just as good for Instagramming as it is for eating.

Blackbird Doughnuts — Boston, MA

Blackbird Doughnuts \u2014 Boston, MA

Boston's Blackbird Doughnuts is a no-frills donut spot specializing in both brioche "raised" donuts and old-fashioned cake donuts. With a small menu of year-round donuts and a rotating cast of seasonal flavors, Blackbird keeps it simple and classic. Why mess around?

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop — Brooklyn, NY

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop \u2014 Brooklyn, NY

For over 60 years, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has been calling the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint home. Since then, the bakery has remained a popular spot for both regulars and new visitors passing through the area. Here, you won't find uber-trendy decor or gimmicky recipes, just damn good donuts that prove the power of long-standing local businesses.

Pip’s Original — Portland, OR

Pip\u2019s Original \u2014 Portland, OR

In both their mobile catering van and brick-and-mortar locations, Pip's Original is a staple for small, sweet treats in Portland. They're known for their tiny donuts that come in inventive seasonal flavors like marionberry-lavender and mango ghost pepper. But even if you opt for one of the more traditional flavors, Pip's Original proves good things can come in small packages.

Round Rock Donuts — Round Rock, TX

Round Rock Donuts \u2014 Round Rock, TX

Founded in 1926, Round Rock Donuts—located just north of Austin—are impossible to miss. These donuts' distinct yellow-orange color, caused by fresh eggs in the original recipe, make them stand out among the crowd. While this classic outpost can easily churn out hundreds of dozens of donuts a day, they also offer Texas-Sized Donuts, which are just as ginormous as you'd imagine. Round Rock Donuts are not only delicious and easily recognizable, but they're a slice of Lone Star history.

The Holy Donut — Portland, ME

The Holy Donut \u2014 Portland, ME

In Maine's Portland, you might not find tiny donuts or a decked-out catering van, but you will find a slightly healthier alternative. The Holy Donut was founded on the premise of creating tasty donuts that used all-natural ingredients to make a treat you could feel good about eating. The secret ingredient is fresh, mashed Maine potatoes, which make these donuts delectably moist without sacrificing flavor.

Donut Friend — Los Angeles, CA

Donut Friend \u2014 Los Angeles, CA

As expected of a city so focused on entertainment, Los Angeles' Donut Friend puts an edgy spin on their inventive donut flavors. Their year-round menu features donut flavors with names like Green Teagan and Sara, Fudgegazi, and Bacon-182 that are sure to delight the rock music nerds. For everyone else, the delicious donuts speak for themselves.