The Check-In: Flight bans in France, traveling along the Artichoke Trail, and more

Planes release smoke in the colors of the French flag
Planes release smoke in the colors of the French flag Eric Piermont / AFP via Getty Images

Welcome to The Check-In, our weekend feature focusing on all things travel.

To cut carbon emissions, France has banned certain domestic short-haul flights

Instead of heading to the airport, some travelers in France will now have to go to the train station. A bill has been signed into law that bans domestic short-haul flights between destinations where the trip can be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours. This is one step France is taking to decarbonize transportation, the government said, and affects routes between Paris-Orly Airport and Nantes, Bordeaux and Lyon.

"As we fight relentlessly to decarbonize our lifestyles, how can we justify the use of the plane between the big cities, which benefit from regular, fast and efficient connections by train?" Minister Delegate for Transport Clément Beaune said in a statement.

A plane flying at sunset
A plane flying at sunset

Charly Triballeau / AFP via Getty Images

Disney World's "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser" to close in September

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser's short journey is coming to an end. Walt Disney World announced it's closing the immersive experience in September, a little over a year after it opened. "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser" is a two-night adventure in which guests live out their "Star Wars" dreams, interacting with favorite characters and taking part in activities such as learning how to handle lightsabers. The cabins have screens instead of windows, with views of planets and stars to reinforce the immersive element of the experience.

This isn't a cheap vacation. Depending on the number of people in each party, the price ranges from $4,800 to $6,000 per cabin, which includes food, entertainment, programming and access to the Galaxy's Edge section of Hollywood Studios.

Disney has not divulged why "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser" will shutter. In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson said it's "a business decision." The company called "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser" one of its "most creative projects ever" and said it set a "new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment. This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we've learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our guests and fans."

Inside the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Inside the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It's all about the artichoke in California's Monterey County

The humble artichoke is getting its due in Monterey County. It's a regional staple, and the Artichoke Trail highlights 40 different restaurants, farms, markets, bars and attractions tied to the spiky green vegetable. Of course, there are several stops in Castroville, dubbed the Artichoke Capital of the World. One of the things to see here is the World's Largest Artichoke Statue, made of concrete and standing 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

The World's Largest Artichoke Statue in Castroville, California
The World's Largest Artichoke Statue in Castroville, California

Maureen Sullivan / Contributor via Getty Images

A map of the Artichoke Trail includes suggestions on dishes to try at restaurants and items to buy in stores and is a visual reminder of just how far the artichoke's influence reaches in Monterey County. If there's only time to make one stop and you're in the area on June 10 or 11, head over to the Monterey County Fairgrounds for the 63rd annual Artichoke Festival. This year's theme is "Thistle Be Fun!" and there will be food, chef demos, activities, wine tastings and a new comedy show. Come ready to have a good time and eat your weight in artichokes.

Plan accordingly: upcoming events to add to your calendar

The Essence Festival is happening in New Orleans from June 30 through July 2, and everyone on the bill is major. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion and Missy Elliott are three of the headliners, and there will be several sets celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, including a curation by Doug E. Fresh with Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, KRS-One and Slick Rick, and a Women in Hip-Hop showcase hosted by Angie Martinez with Eve, Mia X, Remy Ma, Salt-N-Pepa and Trina.

Missy Elliott performs at the 2018 Essence Music Festival
Missy Elliott performs at the 2018 Essence Music Festival

Erika Goldring / Getty Images

Tip: Slip away from the festival for a brunch you won't forget. Every Saturday and Sunday, it's Burlesque Brunch: Legs & Eggs at 3rd Block Depot inside the W New Orleans, French Quarter. New Orleans had a vibrant burlesque scene from the 1940s to 1960s, and it lives on with Belle Blue, who performs at Legs & Eggs every weekend, accompanied by live music. Come for the show and stay for the bottomless bellinis and modern Creole fare.

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