In almost any city worldwide, and plenty of suburbs beyond, you’re likely to find a Starbucks nearby. We’ve all heard the phrase, “a Starbucks on every corner,” and it’s only a slight exaggeration in the United States. Despite its exceptionally high count of stores, though, there’s something Starbucks has only one of, and it’s likely to surprise you — a coffee farm. Whether you didn’t know Starbucks grew any coffee of its own, or you would have guessed they own half the world’s farms by now, it’s unlikely you would have supposed there was only one, but , about an hour outside of San Jose, Costa Rica, is the sole farm owned and operated by the international coffee giant.
Starbucks isn’t in the business of growing coffee, and doesn’t intend to be, but it purchased Hacienda Alsacia as a research farm to better understand the methods of growing and harvesting coffee, aiming to preserve the industry through sustainable practices to ensure quality coffee will always be available without sacrificing the land or the culture of those who historically produced it.
Like most places on Earth these days, Hacienda Alsacia is home to a Starbucks store, and it’s one of the most stunning you’ll find anywhere. The hilltop, open-air location overlooks the beautiful farm with minimalist design and comfy rocking chairs for enjoying the expansive view (there’s a waterfall, too). Naturally, this is also one of the only locations that carries Hacienda Alsacia coffee (some Starbucks Reserve locations also carry it), so it’s your optimal chance to try the most exclusive of Starbucks coffees. Beyond the store, though, Hacienda Alsacia offers guided tours of the property, the process and the brand’s goals in operating its coffee utopia. The 1.5-hour tour is available in English or Spanish, beginning every half hour, and costs $30 per person aged 7 and up.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
It’s one of a traveler’s worst nightmares to stay in a hotel where the beds are infested with bed bugs. These tiny creatures aren’t always visible to the naked eye, but they can completely ruin a vacation and leave hotel guests itching and scratching for weeks. Here are a few ways to ensure where you lay your head at night isn’t also where bed bugs lay their own.