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Travel


An Asian immersion in Sin City

I have played pai gow, and I have emerged victorious. It seems the Lucky Dragon, the newest from-the-ground-up hotel in Las Vegas, lives up to its name — or did for one particular weekend, anyway. Lucky Dragon, which opened in December on Sahara Boulevard, near Stratosphere and Circus Circus, is China-centric and aims to lure Asian travelers. As my name implies, I am not Asian. My friend Clare...
Frugal Traveler: Putting online agencies and search sites to the test

Frugal Traveler: Putting online agencies and search sites to the test

In the beginning, you called an airline or travel agent when you wanted to book a trip. But if you’ve done any traveling at all within the last 15 years, you’ve probably come across a fare aggregator or metasearch site. Hundreds of perfectly legitimate ones exist; you’ve undoubtedly heard of Expedia, Priceline and Hotwire, to name three. Does it matter which site you use, or are...
Hotels and resorts for romance of all kinds

Hotels and resorts for romance of all kinds

Romance is a malleable concept. For some, it’s rose petals strewed on the bed. For others, it’s the awe of the great wide open. With that in mind, here are some new and improved hotels and resorts to woo many ages and stages of love, from platonic crushes to wedded commitment.  People Seeking Privacy   — Le Barthélemy (St. Barts)   The French Caribbean...
A Nairobi restaurant with local ingredients and a dreamy vibe

A Nairobi restaurant with local ingredients and a dreamy vibe

Harold Sena-Akoto, the Ghanaian-born chef of 45 Degrees Kitchen, learned an inspirational lesson from an Italian mentor years ago. “You know Italians,” Sena-Akoto said with a chuckle. “They are so passionate. My chef said to me: ‘Consider yourself blessed that people come to you for a meal. So imagine that every meal you cook is going to be their last.'”  Sena-Akoto...
The best undiscovered beaches in the world

The best undiscovered beaches in the world

A certain type of New Yorker has complaints about the beaches in Tulum, Mexico, Saint Barth's, or Mykonos in Greece. "Why escape New York," they ask,"just to be surrounded by New Yorkers?"  Do not hang out with these people.   But do heed their warning: If you want to go to a beach to get away from other humans, you'll have to try a lot harder than visiting those...

When touring England with family, take the road over the rails

The Washington Post's travel writers and editors recently discussed travel stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: Our family of three older teens and two adults will be travelling around England this summer; London, Brighton, Chichester, Bath and other spots. Would we be better off renting a car for our travels (not in London) or travelling via rail between cities?...

Best-selling author of 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' dies at 88

Robert Pirsig, whose 1974 travelogue-cum-philosophical tract, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," sold millions of copies and made him a reluctant hero to generations of intellectual wanderers, died April 24 at his home in South Berwick, Maine, He was 88.  William Morrow, the publishing house that accepted Pirsig's manuscript after 121 other publishers had turned it down, announced...
Hawaii reassures tourists after brain parasite cases

Hawaii reassures tourists after brain parasite cases

HONOLULU (AP) — A California couple on their honeymoon and two people who drank a homemade herbal beverage are among the rising number of victims in Hawaii falling ill with a potentially deadly brain parasite.  After the newlyweds' plight with rat lungworm disease recently got attention online, the couple and some experts accused Hawaii of failing to adequately warn tourists and residents...
This new mega cruise ship will have a Ferrari-branded racetrack

This new mega cruise ship will have a Ferrari-branded racetrack

Cruise passengers looking for a real ocean drive will have to look further than South Beach.  Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Joy, a ship the Doral, Fla.-based cruise line is building to sail in China, will be the first ever to feature a racetrack — from Ferrari, no less.   That’s in partnership with Scuderia Ferrari Watches in this case, which is joining forces...
'This was real': Artifacts save Holocaust stories for future

'This was real': Artifacts save Holocaust stories for future

BOWIE, Md. (AP) — The small wicker doll chair was a modest toy, but it meant the world to Louise Lawrence-Israels. A gift for her second birthday, it was the only toy she possessed during the approximately three years she spent hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, just five blocks from the house where Anne Frank wrote in her diary.  The chair is one of thousands of artifacts housed in the...

How to avoid paying for a checked bag

Airfare is expensive enough as it is, but the added fees make things worse.  Some of the discount airlines (think: Spirit, WOW Air and Allegiant) charge for everything from seat selection to printing your boarding pass. Some airlines even charge for carry-on luggage any bigger than a purse or small backpack. But if there’s one thing airlines agree on, it’s charging for regular ol&rsquo...
The marital benefits of a canceled flight

The marital benefits of a canceled flight

My husband had been on hold with the Delta agent for about 10 minutes when he began to visibly implode. His ears went from pink to an almost bioluminescent red; the veins in his neck seemed to pulse in time with the sheets of rain beating down on the terrace. “I know there’s a nor’easter,” Jeff said, pacing the taupe carpet. “But we’re supposed to fly home...
A road trip along Ireland's breathtaking west coast

A road trip along Ireland's breathtaking west coast

Ireland, we decided: the west coast of Ireland. Offseason, when accommodations would be inexpensive. That's how our party of three childhood friends found ourselves tooling along the Dingle Peninsula's breathtaking Slea Head Drive on a (mostly) sunny day in February as the occasional squall came and went.  Our 10-day adventure was minimally planned; choose the dates, buy the tickets, book a place...
Now on sale: multiresort passes for next ski season

Now on sale: multiresort passes for next ski season

Blooming trees may not be conducive to ski thoughts, but spring is a great time to plan next season on the slopes because multiresort passes go on sale at this time.  Multimountain passes give access (often unlimited) to several locations, and in recent years they have upended not just the way the ski industry sells lift tickets, but also how people approach their winter trips. Vail Resorts was...
US anglers seek out the infamous Bay of Pigs for  fly-fishing

US anglers seek out the infamous Bay of Pigs for fly-fishing

Crouching at the bow of a small motorboat, trying not to make a sound, I wonder if my Cuban guide, Juan Carlos, agrees that we make for a strange scene.  You see, we're very near where, more than half a century ago, a bunch of CIA-backed Cuban exiles tried - and failed spectacularly - to overthrow the Castro regime.   On this warm November morning, I'm part of a new kind of American...

In the air, that uneasy feeling of us vs. them

When a passenger was forcibly removed from his seat aboard an April 9 United Airlines flight to Louisville, Kentucky, before it left the gate in Chicago, the video taken by onlookers seemed to capture the mood in the air: Us vs. Them.  “There’s a lot of blame to go around, not the least of which is the overall culture of aviation where customer service issues have become law enforcement...
Travel Tips: How to pick a travel agent

Travel Tips: How to pick a travel agent

Finding the right travel agent is like finding the right doctor, according to David Kolner, who oversees the travel agent membership program for Virtuoso, a network of more than 15,000 agents globally. “This may sound extreme — after all, they’re only booking your travel — but your leisure time is one of your most valuable assets, so why would you trust just anyone with it?&rdquo...
Giraffe's baby bump boosts tiny zoo's upkeep, conservation

Giraffe's baby bump boosts tiny zoo's upkeep, conservation

April the giraffe has brought a bundle to a tiny zoo in rural upstate New York, thanks to a YouTube video livestream of her pregnancy and birth of an incredibly cute calf that has riveted viewers around the world.  Owners of the for-profit Animal Adventure Park won't say exactly how much they've pulled in from all April-related ventures, but internet marketing experts conservatively estimate...
Suitcase GPS? Scented bags? The latest travel gadgets.

Suitcase GPS? Scented bags? The latest travel gadgets.

At the International Travel Goods Show, held this month in Las Vegas, I saw the future of travel. We will always know the whereabouts of our checked luggage. We will sleep as comfortably on planes as kittens in a basket. And we will never again experience the horror of watching our gadgets power down with no outlets in sight.  Fortunately, we don't have to wait long for this futuristic world...

Brace yourself for overbooked flights this summer

When United Airlines dragged a screaming man from his seat recently, bloodying him in the process, it caused a justifiable uproar. The resulting outrage is spurring a cry for additional fliers’ protections. When passengers aboard a small plane in Rochester, Minn., were held hostage for five-plus hours overnight in 2009, the incident and similar tarmac delays fueled congressional support for...

Travel Deals: Save on weekend flights to Europe and Scandinavia 

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   - Topnotch Resort, in Stowe, Vermont, is offering a perks-filled package for pets and their people, with up to 15 percent savings. The Serve, Fetch, Love special starts at $618 and includes two nights' luxury accommodations; a 60-minute private tennis lesson or 90 minutes of court time; a 25-minute in-room spa treatment for...
72 hours in Atlanta

72 hours in Atlanta

I never had a yearning to visit Atlanta. It just wasn’t a city on my radar. I’d flown through it a few times on my way to other cities, but hadn’t ever considered it as a travel destination. But when my mother, sister and I were trying to decide where to meet up for our annual girls’ weekend, we decided, why not try out Atlanta? Flights to the city are cheap from Los Angeles...

Family travel: 5 resorts where both grown-ups and kids feel welcome

Finding a resort where both grown-ups and kids feel welcome can be tricky. Here are five that fit the bill.  1. The Sebastian, Vail, Colo.   This cozy Rocky Mountain resort offers families a year-round, home-away-from-home in a world-class destination. During the winter months, the Base Camp's ski-in, ski-out valet service makes accessing the area's legendary terrain stress free. The...

Trump’s plan to privatize air traffic control has benefits and pitfalls

In Canada, about 2,000 air traffic controllers scrutinize 7 million square miles of North American skies to manage the takeoff and landing of 10,000 flights a day — all without a cent of government funding while maintaining safety standards that meet or exceed those of the United States.  The Trump administration has proposed that the U.S. follow Canada’s lead by turning over management...
Want to own a town? Tiny Oregon community for sale for $3.5M

Want to own a town? Tiny Oregon community for sale for $3.5M

TILLER, Ore. (AP) — In the tiny, dying timber town of Tiller, the old cliche is true. If you blink, you might actually miss it.  But these days, this dot on a map in southwestern Oregon is generating big-city buzz for an unlikely reason: Almost the entire town is for sale.   The asking price of $3.5 million brings with it six houses, the shuttered general store and gas station...
Heavy snow means excellent rafting on Western rivers

Heavy snow means excellent rafting on Western rivers

Like skiers, white-water rafting fans are excited about this season’s heavy snowfall in the West. Several rafting operators are predicting a wild season as the rivers swell with spring showers and snowmelt.  “This year’s rafting will be as good as it gets,” predicted Steve Lentz, the owner of Far and Away Adventures, an Idaho company that offers luxury river rafting on...
Big birder: Noah Strycker on where to spot rare species

Big birder: Noah Strycker on where to spot rare species

In September 2015, Noah Strycker entered the Guinness World Records by besting a British couple, Ruth Miller and Alan Davies, who in 2008 tracked 4,341 species of birds in a year. Strycker tracked 6,042 species and told his story on the Audubon Society blog, Birding Without Borders.  Strycker, 31, has climbed trees around the globe in pursuit of birds like the red-billed starling or black-breasted...

Disabled passengers decry seating upcharges

Flying with a disability is never easy, but in the past, airlines have lightened the burden a little by offering passengers such as Scott Nold advance seat assignments.  Nold, a retired bus dispatcher from Madison, South Dakota, who has multiple sclerosis, travels in a wheelchair. "So he requires an aisle seat," says his wife, Deb Nold.   But on a recent American Airlines...
Along the Mekong River, a timeless place where time marches on

Along the Mekong River, a timeless place where time marches on

Deep in the folds of the hill, up steep stone stairs flanked with frangipani trees, stood the inner sanctum of the ancient Khmer temple of Vat Phou.  We faced the mountain ridge, our backs to the waters of the Mekong River, looking for the chamber. From this angle, it was hidden. But other parts of the temple had begun revealing themselves to us. Down here, along the rutted stone path leading...
À la Française in Harlem

À la Française in Harlem

Harlem has long had a romance with France. Well before the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, African-American artists and musicians traveled to France to broaden their artistic vision or to escape the daily oppression of American racism.  Not widely known, however, is that the traffic went both ways, with French tourists visiting Harlem because of their fascination with jazz, gospel and black...
The hotel redefining Scottish style

The hotel redefining Scottish style

Forget tartan carpets, tobacco-stained wainscoting and paintings of shaggy Highland coos. The gloriously refurbished G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh — the only five-star hotel on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile — is a decidedly Scottish hotel, but not in the style you might expect. Since taking over from the Missoni Hotel in 2014, the Quorvus Collection’s G&V has embarked on a multimillion-pound...
A good case of the blues

A good case of the blues

At its ugliest, the Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular. And in late March, we were seeing it at its ugliest: trees starkly leafless, their green finery stolen by a hard freeze after an early arrival of springlike weather in February. Rhododendron, robbed of their lush pink and purple blooms, appeared exhausted, their leaves drooping in resignation. Close-up, it looked more like a brown ridge. But Mother...
10 unsung sites for art in D.C.

10 unsung sites for art in D.C.

Going to museums isn’t always easy in Washington. If you want to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture or find out what all the hype is about at Hirshhorn’s Yayoi Kusama exhibition, you have to score tickets well in advance and prepare for crowds. It isn’t unusual to find lines in front of the Air and Space Museum or the Natural History Museum. Where should...
Bucharest: Romania’s ‘Little Paris of the East’

Bucharest: Romania’s ‘Little Paris of the East’

Still haunted by the legend of a vampire count and the legacy of a communist dictator, Romania is complex — with an epic history, a multifaceted ethnic mix and an unusually rich cultural heritage. It may not be the easiest place to travel, but for adventurous souls, it’s exceptionally rewarding. If you go, start in Romania’s capital, Bucharest. With about 2 million people, it&rsquo...
Highway 101: The best roadside eats between San Francisco and Santa Barbara

Highway 101: The best roadside eats between San Francisco and Santa Barbara

There was a time — a very long time — when anyone traveling down Highway 101 faced a dearth of dining possibilities. That San Francisco-Santa Barbara trek was fueled by golden arches and Denny’s knockoffs. Now there’s no need to resort to such desperate measures, not when you can pull off the freeway and nosh in style at Paso Robles’ Kitchenette and Arroyo Grande&rsquo...
Inside a Colorado pot club - a rare and endangered species

Inside a Colorado pot club - a rare and endangered species

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — It's the fish tank featuring a colorful reef made of glass marijuana pipes that ultimately sets the Speakeasy Vape Lounge apart from any other strip-mall bar and confirms what it really is: one of the United States' only legal pot clubs.  The fact that it and a few dozen like it already exist in Colorado was all but lost in a recent fight over whether the...

Highway 101: Best hotels between San Francisco and Santa Barbara

The stretch of Highway 101 from San Francisco to Santa Barbara offers a vast array of lodging options, from chain motels to boutique inns. Sure, you could do the 300-plus miles in a single day, but it’s more fun to dabble along the way. You can go tasting at some of the stunning wineries in Paso Robles, Pismo or down near Los Olivos or Los Alamos. Grab lunch or dinner at a terrific roadside...

You can dine out with kids. Here's how to make it work for everyone.

When you have young children, it can be easy to give up on going to restaurants altogether. Too much hassle. Too much uncertainty. Too much chance of the stink-eye from other diners.  But there are plenty of restaurants that roll out the welcome mat for families, and plenty of conscientious parents who enjoy eating out with their little ones, without incident.   "Ninety-nine percent...

The financial perks of off-season travel

Airfare, hotels and even some tourist attractions get pricier during travel high-season, when swarms of tourists fly in from around the world to popular destinations. On the flip side, off-season travel — though it may feature less-than-perfect weather conditions — can let you explore the world without spending a fortune.  Here’s how:   AIRFARE PLUMMETS IN THE OFF-SEASON ...
Feasting in Verona, where tradition and creativity intersect

Feasting in Verona, where tradition and creativity intersect

It was a chilly Tuesday afternoon in a giant shopping center in Verona, Italy, and there was a feast before me: a plate of tagliatelle strewn with saffron, spec and mushroom; oversized raviolis packed with scampi and artichoke. The raviolis on my friend’s plate were stuffed with polenta and ossobuco. It was disorienting to be in a mall because this was some of the most excellent pasta I&rsquo...
New Hampshire: Three regions, three reasons to visit

New Hampshire: Three regions, three reasons to visit

New Hampshire is a state of many monikers — Granite State, Mother of Rivers, White Mountain State, Switzerland of America. For travel planning purposes, the lesser known nickname of the two-by-four state seems to be most apt. That’s because one can traverse New Hampshire’s width in about two hours and its length in about four, providing an irresistible opportunity to explore several...
Founding generation, not just fathers, focus of new museum

Founding generation, not just fathers, focus of new museum

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Alongside a display of the Declaration of Independence at the Museum of the American Revolution, a separate tableau tells the story of Mumbet, an enslaved black woman in Massachusetts who, upon hearing the document read aloud, announced that its proclamation that "all men are created equal" should also include her.  In response, her master hit her with a frying...

Overbooked: stories of airline agony (and some rewards)

Airlines have long found ways to entice passengers off their planes. Often, this is a result of flights’ being overbooked, as airlines try to fill as many seats as possible. When they overbook, airlines begin a process of bargaining with passengers at the gate, offering travel vouchers that usually range from $400 to $600, up to a maximum of $1,350, according to U.S. Transportation Department...
Visitors can act, rap Hamilton story at Jefferson’s Monticello

Visitors can act, rap Hamilton story at Jefferson’s Monticello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Alexander Hamilton never visited the home of archrival Thomas Jefferson. But the nation’s first Treasury secretary — and namesake of the hit musical — rules the house during the new Hamilton Tour Takeover at Monticello. The after-hour visits are part history class and part civics lesson — with chances to rap and sing. “Jefferson is definitely...

Ten ways to diminish travel stress

The stress of travel is enough to make you wonder if the getaway is worth it. Alice Boyes, who travels about one week out of every month, knows how trying the process can be.  "There's a lot to remember with travel," says Boyes, a former clinical psychologist and author of "The Anxiety Toolkit." "The days leading up to getting away, you have everything you've got to remember...
At 375, Montreal's still young enough to revel

At 375, Montreal's still young enough to revel

At Montreal's expansive Musee d'Archeologie et d'Histoire Pointe-a-Calliere, a guide encouraged me to watch a short film on the founding of one of North America's oldest and most cosmopolitan cities. Hypermodern and three-dimensional in presentation and scope, the film is a sweeping, rapturous exploration of pre-settlement Quebec, conquest, revolution, and rapid industrialization.  The museum...
Know the neighborhood to make the most of a London excursion

Know the neighborhood to make the most of a London excursion

LONDON — One of my favorite things about this, my favorite city, is the fact that it is composed of many diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character, contributing to the allure of the British capital. With all that London offers, it can be daunting for a visitor to choose an area for a base … should it be the traditional, staid West End or the hip, edgy East End, the older, established...
As Havana fills with tourists, Santa Clara remains Cuba’s hidden gem

As Havana fills with tourists, Santa Clara remains Cuba’s hidden gem

The uniformed woman’s eyes narrowed as she looked me up and down, assessing. Seconds earlier, she had told me that the currency exchange was one floor up at the Havana airport. Now, after processing my poor Spanish, blond hair and unaccompanied state, her tune quickly changed. “He will take you,” she offered, in the tone of a command. Who? What? My questions hung in the air, unanswered...
Biking and baring all on cycling trip around Germany’s Lake Constance

Biking and baring all on cycling trip around Germany’s Lake Constance

The halfway point of our five-day, three-country trip on two wheels around Lake Constance — known as the Bodensee in German — had been long, hot and a little bloody, as I’d taken a tumble off my bike. Then, just minutes from our hotel in Uberlingen, Germany, my sister Lee and I were separated by a marching band on its way to the city center. Intent on finding my sibling, I ignored...

San Francisco restaurant offers a twist on its Chinatown neighbors

Though Mister Jiu’s black and gray-green facade and idiosyncratic signage contrast with its neighbors in Chinatown in San Francisco, chef Brandon Jew’s year-old restaurant seems at home among medical herb vendors and knickknack shops.  Jew — whose surname, he explained, was “lost in translation” when his grandfather came to the United States — sees Mister Jiu&rsquo...

Three train trips to celebrate Canada's Confederation

Via Rail Canada's map resembles a constellation, with 19 train routes connecting such stars as Prince Rupert, B.C.; Ottawa; Churchill, Manitoba; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The tracks pass through the prairies and the Canadian Rockies, French Canadian cities and Atlantic coastal towns. Daryl Adair, who wrote the "Canadian Rail Travel Guide" and runs a train-travel tour agency in Winnipeg,...
Marfa, Texas … unvarnished

Marfa, Texas … unvarnished

You may have read, or more likely heard, all kinds of things about Marfa, Texas. That it’s super cool. That it’s a foodie destination. That it’s right next to Big Bend. That it’s completely overrated.  If you’ve been to the fabled West Texas town, you undoubtedly have your own opinion about it, perhaps a strong one.   If you haven’t been, maybe you&rsquo...
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