8 Places Amelia Earhart Flew That Are Worth a Visit


With so much attention on her mysterious disappearance, it’s easy to overlook all the amazing places Amelia Earhart flew in her renowned—and tragically short—flying career. For the famed aviator’s birthday (she’d be 119 on July 24), we take a look at some of the cities and small towns where she touched down that are still worth a visit.


Earhart in 1928. Getty

This sleepy Welsh town was the terminus of Earhart’s first transatlantic flight in 1928—the first transatlantic flight made by a female pilot. The landing, which happened in the waters just off the coast, wasn’t planned: The crew, including pilot Wilmer Stultz and mechanic Lou Gordon, ran into mechanical trouble with their modified float plane, and had to divert from their original destination of Southampton, England. The surprised townsfolk eagerly received their guests, and residents today still talk glowingly of their date with history. Visitors can enjoy the scenic Welsh coastline along the Millennium Coastal Path, which inevitably leads to the photo-ready Burry Port Lighthouse. Afterwards, tourists can retreat to the local pub for a pint or two.


In April of 1935, Earhart flew from Los Angeles to the Mexican capital on a goodwill mission. The routine flight became dire after a bug flew into Earhart’s eye, forcing her to land in a dried-up lakebed in Nopala, 60 miles short of her goal. A band of cowboys helped her flush the bug and get reoriented, and Earhart made the quick hop to Mexico City, where a crowd of 10,000 awaited her. The city is similarly welcoming towards tourists these days, with a restaurant and arts scene that’s gaining international attention. There are also popular must-see spots like the Museo Frida Kahlo, Templo Mayor, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.


The Hawaiian capital played a significant role in Earhart’s flying career, both good and bad. First, the good: It was the departure point for her historic 2400-mile flight to Oakland in 1935. Two years later, though, Earhart crashed while taking off from Ford Island, situated in the middle of Pearl Harbor. The crash, which came down to pilot error, grounded her attempt at circumnavigating of the globe—a feat she would attempt again three months later, in what would become her last journey. Visitors to Ford Island today will find the Pacific Aviation Museum, which houses dozens of military planes and choppers dating back to World War II.


Earhart in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1932. Getty

The 34-year-old pilot touched down in a Culmore cow pasture after a 15-hour transatlantic flight. It was her second hop across the ocean, and first one flown solo. Earhart’s original destination was Paris, but mechanical problems, including a leaky fuel tank and a cracked manifold, forced her to land in Ireland. “Where are you coming from?” a farmer asked her as she stepped out of her plane. “America,” Earhart replied (she had, in fact, taken off from Newfoundland). A golf course occupies the land these days, with the 6th hole, nicknamed “Amelia’s Landing,” marking the exact spot where Earhart touched down. Visitors can play a round, then head into nearby Derry to visit the last walled city in Europe.


Earhart and Noonan in Brazil, June 1937. Getty

Many of the stops Earhart made along her fateful 1937 journey to circumnavigate the globe were strictly utilitarian: get in, get fed, sleep, and make any necessary repairs. Not so in Fortaleza, a thriving city on Brazil’s northeastern coast, where Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were able to spend a day walking the beaches and bustling streets while Pan Am mechanics serviced their Lockheed Electra. Beaches like Praia do Futuro and Praia de Iracema are still Fortaleza’s calling card, and the nightlife is second to none. Those looking for a more cultured experience can tour the museums, galleries and theaters in the Dragão do Mar arts district.


Following a rough 14-hour flight from Brazil, Earhart and Noonan landed on this island city at the mouth of the Senegal River. It was, at the time, the capital of Senegal, and a picturesque example of a French colonial town, established in the 17th century. Today, Saint-Louis is no longer the country’s capital, but its unique blend of French and West African influences, from the colorful balconied homes that stretch down long city blocks, to the Grand Mosque constructed in 1847, show why UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 2000. Surrounded by quays and marshland, Saint-Louis’s laid-back atmosphere is under threat from rising waters, and experts worry it could soon become submerged.


After crossing the Arabian Sea, Earhart and Noonan set down in this coastal city, which at the time was part of India. While mechanics fueled and inspected their plane, the two flyers posed for pictures and toured around via the local transportation. “Camels should have shock absorbers,” Earhart wrote in her journal, unimpressed with the animal’s handling. Camel rides are still a popular attraction in Karachi, though tourism is down these days due to the city’s hectic sprawl and threats of terrorism. Those who do venture there will find a lively, diverse city that showcases everything worth loving about Pakistani culture, from the bustling markets to the pristine Mohatta Palace.



Earhart made a quick refueling stop in this northern Australian city on June 28, 1937 before heading on to Papua New Guinea (she and Noonan disappeared over the South Pacific, near tiny Howland Island.) Visitors today will want to stay much longer. The capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, and one of the country’s few tropical cities, Darwin is a fun-loving outlier that’s renowned for its parks, beaches, and gorgeous sunsets. It’s also the jumping-off point for trips to scenic Litchfield National Park and Kakadu National Park. Of course, those who aren’t into roughing it can take part in the local past time and go fishing with an esky of beer.

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This Travel Site Factors in Baggage Fees to Show You the True Cost of Your Flight

If you're looking to find the best deal on airfare, there are more tools out there to help you than ever before. Travel sites allow users to compare ticket prices based on airlines and the dates of their trip, but the numbers they show don't always paint the full picture. Additional fees for baggage can make a flight that seemed like a steal at booking suddenly a lot less convenient. Fortunately for frugal flyers, KAYAK has found a way to work this factor into their equations, Travel + Leisure reports.

To use the fare search engine's new baggage fee feature, start by entering the information for your flight like you normally would. Flying from New York to Chicago and back the first week of May? KAYAK recommends taking Spirit Airlines if you're looking to pay as little as possible.

But let's say you plan on checking two bags on your flight—different airlines charge different baggage fees, so Spirit may no longer be the cheapest option. If that's the case, KAYAK includes a Fee Assistant bar right above the search results. After entering the number of carry-on and checked bags you'll be traveling with, the results will automatically update to show the true cost of your fare. Ticket prices for New York to Chicago rise across the board with the addition of two checked bags, and Delta now becomes the best deal if you're looking to book through one airline.

The new baggage fee assistant is one way for travelers to make savvier purchases when booking online. But even with the added fees included, you'll need to do some extra research to determine the true value you get from each ticket price that pops up. Wi-Fi, legroom, and in-flight meal quality are all factors that could make a slightly more expensive airline worth it once you board.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Forensic Analysis Suggests Bones Discovered on a Pacific Island May Belong to Amelia Earhart
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In 1937, the most famous female pilot of the day became the center of one of the most enduring aviation mysteries of all time. Amelia Earhart, best known for being the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic, vanished while attempting to circumnavigate the globe with her navigator Fred Noonan. Eighty years later, potential clues regarding her fate are still being considered. The latest is a forensic analysis that has one scientist claiming he's identified the bones of Amelia Earhart, The Washington Post reports.

The 13 bones were recovered from the island of Nikumaroro in the South Pacific in 1940. A British expedition surveying the island for settlement came across the remains, along with a bottle of an herbal liqueur, a box designed to hold a Brandis Navy surveying sextant (a navigation instrument), and a woman's shoe. All pieces are items that would have plausibly been on board if Earhart had crashed her Lockheed plane in the area.

A popular theory about Earhart's disappearance around that time was that she had died a castaway on a remote Pacific island similar to that one. Experts suspected that the bones may have belonged to the lost pilot, but the researcher who conducted an analysis in 1941 concluded they belonged to a man.

Forensic osteology, the study of bones, was in its infancy at the time of the analysis. With this in mind, University of Tennessee anthropologist Richard L. Jantz recently revisited the potential evidence that had been ignored by Earhart researchers for decades, a process he describes in a new study published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

He used more sophisticated methods than were available in 1941: A computer program he helped design called Fordisc allowed him to estimate the sex, ancestry, and stature of the specimen from bone measurements. He then compared this data to the estimated size of Amelia Earhart's skeleton based on what we know about her height, weight, and overall proportions. From this research, he found that the Nikumaroro bones are more similar to Earhart's physique than 99 percent of the individuals he looked at in a reference sample.

The castaway theory is just one of many explanations experts have given for Amelia Earhart's disappearance. Other possibilities suggest that she crashed and died at sea, that she crashed in Papua New Guinea, or that she was captured by Japanese forces and died a prisoner. Since her disappearance, many of these theories have been validated by new evidence and then discredited when that evidence turned out to be either fabricated or blown out of proportion. But if the claims of this new study hold up to scrutiny, they could change the way the story is told going forward.

[h/t The Washington Post]


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