Travel


No passes needed for African-American museum on weekdays in September

WASHINGTON - The National Museum of African American History and Culture will not require visitors to have passes to enter on weekdays in September.  » RELATED: Oprah Winfrey exhibit at National African American Museum DC The relaxation of crowd-control measures comes two years after the Smithsonian museum opened on Sept. 24, 2016. Weekend visitors will still need to have the free...

10 great last-minute summer getaways you can book in July

There is no need to shelve that summer vacation you wanted to take but never got around to planning: The last two weeks of August may be the most popular time to get away for the season, but there are still plenty of options available for travelers who are game for a last-minute escape.  Jack Ezon, the president of travel company Ovation Vacations, said that July is actually an opportune time...
In these parts of France, the Great War will never be forgotten

In these parts of France, the Great War will never be forgotten

The last time I saw the Picardie region of France was in 1978. I was visiting an old family friend, who suggested we take a road trip to see the chateaux and cathedrals that dot the landscape there and nearby in Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, all of which are an easy drive from Paris. Off we went in her Peugeot 504 and at some point I became lost (this was in the days before GPS obviously) and decided...
Santorini: Behind the Greek island’s beauty

Santorini: Behind the Greek island’s beauty

The words “Greek Isles” evoke visions of sun-bleached houses shoulder-to-shoulder against a hillside with a mesmerizing view of glittering blue water. But with more than 200 Greek islands scattered across the Aegean and Ionian seas, where do you start? Chances are, Santorini is the island you’re picturing. Once a complete island like its neighbors, it was a volcano that blew its...
4 hikes to take in the Colorado Rockies

4 hikes to take in the Colorado Rockies

Summer is here, so why not pack the car and head to the Colorado Rockies? You could also hop a two-hour flight to Denver, but who wants the hassle of trying to fit all your outdoor gear in a carry on? If you get an early start, you can easily travel the 14 hours and be in the Mile High City for dinner. Check out City O’ City for late-night eats. The kitchen is open until 1 a.m. After you spend...

Are cruises cool? No. That’s what makes them so great.

It’s the final day of this seven-night cruise, and I am sitting in my moderately messy balcony stateroom aboard the Celebrity Summit finishing the last bites of a room service cheeseburger, bags as yet unpacked for tomorrow morning’s disembarkation, the vast undulating North Atlantic just over my starboard shoulder.  I am trying to summon up my arguments in support of the mass-market...

An enduring Paris hotel in a new light

Is it Parisians who are most looking forward to the reopening of the more than century-old Hotel Lutetia, on the Left Bank? Or is it the property’s loyal overnight guests?  It is hard to know for sure.   “The Lutetia — it isn’t like other luxury hotels in Paris that locals don’t go to unless they have to,” said Apollonia Poilâne, the head baker...
Scaling the Swiss Alps on trains and trams, and more

Scaling the Swiss Alps on trains and trams, and more

The Swiss Alps are one of Mother Nature’s most impressive shows, even viewed from afar. Getting in among these craggy peaks — some of which soar more than 13,000 feet into the sky — is even more special. Alpenwild offers a 10-day/nine-night tour that scales those peaks compliments of Switzerland’s amazing network of trains, trams, and funiculars. Among the classic lines ridden...

Here's what you can do for jet lag

Jet lag is a tough problem to get sympathy for. Traveling across multiple time zones is often a cause for jealousy, not compassion. But high-speed plane travel to a location that is out of sync with your body's internal clocks can cause more than just sleepiness. Symptoms of jet lag also include irritability, disorientation, nausea, gastrointestinal distress and trouble concentrating.  And an...

On an Icelandic road trip, mossy moonscapes and more

Jada Yuan: Going to Iceland for the first time, I had some idea of what to expect: tiny horses, stunning waterfalls, Jon Snow and the Wildlings. Nothing I imagined, though, could come close to the experience of being there in person. Just driving from the airport felt like landing on an alternate moon covered in moss and fog.  What made this leg of the 52 Places trip most exciting, besides being...
Coachella’s siren song attracts chic new resort

Coachella’s siren song attracts chic new resort

Every year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its sister country music event bring hundreds of thousands of revelers to the desert, far from the trendy restaurants, hotels and other attractions in a resurgent Palm Springs, Calif. Now, a developer group with a celebrity pedigree is building a sprawling 35-acre resort featuring a hip hotel that will not only cater to the hugely popular...

Three-and-a-half centuries of mythos surrounds Salem's House of the Seven Gables

"A nice mix of fiction and nonfiction." That's how Bill Sjostedt of Mamaroneck, New York, described the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts, after finishing his tour.  "It's been a part of the folklore of our country."   And that needs to be kept in mind when visiting this house made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1851 novel of the same name: The house...
10 fun things to do in Galveston

10 fun things to do in Galveston

Galveston made national news in late May when photos and videos surfaced of something shocking happening there: The water had gone from its typical shade of mud brown to crystal clear. By coincidence, my family, which visits Galveston frequently, had already booked a trip there for the following week, and as we drove up to the seawall, we craned our necks to see if we, too, would get to experience...

Looking for a weekend escape? Here are 5 family-friendly options

Weekend vacations to destinations that American travelers can reach by driving appear to be growing in popularity: In the 2018 Luxe Report from the travel network Virtuoso, 25 percent of the network’s more than 16,000 advisers reported seeing a significant increase in demand for one- to three-day vacations within driving distance from home.  Weekend trips in general are on the uptick, according...
Pixar Pier tells a whole new story

Pixar Pier tells a whole new story

The early days of Disney’s California Adventure theme park next door to Disneyland boasted a number of peculiar design choices: a paparazzi-themed family ride, a coaster alluding to reckless drivers on Mulholland Drive and an extreme sports story line to its rafting ride. Most of the above has been removed or fixed over the park’s 17 years. Additions such as the cartoonish take on Route...

Tourists on honeymoon collide while zip-lining, leaving husband dead and wife injured

A newlywed Israeli couple on their honeymoon collided while zip-lining in Honduras, leaving the husband dead and the wife seriously injured, Honduran authorities said.  The wife was zip-lining amid the treetops in Roatan, the largest of Honduras's Bay Islands, when she got stuck shortly before 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Wilmer Guerrero, commander of the Roatan Fire Department, told The Washington Post...

A Black Forest trek to German philosopher Heidegger's writing hut

Stuck behind the wheel of a cramped rental car during a six-hour drive from Paris the previous day, it would take more than the threat of morning showers to keep me from stretching my legs on a Black Forest walking trail. That, after all, was why I was here, in the southwestern corner of Germany: to walk in woods once so dense and dark (before logging) that they were named "black." ...

Into the wild, in droves

As always, I arrived too late. The time to be here, the real sweet spot? I missed it. Try a good half-century ago, I was told by locals, before the place was discovered by the outside world, back when it was still Arches National Monument and not yet a designated park, just a dusty backwater in southeast Utah inhabited by a few old cowboys, desert castaways, Latter-day seekers and a handful of tourists...
Travel Dilemmas: Don’t pack cannabis

Travel Dilemmas: Don’t pack cannabis

You can’t take it with you. Actually, you can. But it’s not a good idea when you’re traveling, especially for the risk-averse. We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved in California by 57 percent of voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the Golden State; medical marijuana had been...

A Pittsburgh area restaurant that trades fussy for fun

A 15-foot man guards the entrance to U.S. Steel’s lone remaining Pittsburgh plant, smiling as he bends a rail with his bare hands. Joe Magarac is to steelworkers what Paul Bunyan is to lumberjacks; the plaque on this statue of him claims Joe was born in an ore mine, never slept, and “ate hot steel like soup, and cold ingots like meat.”  Until recently, you weren’t likely...

Cold and remote Saskatoon provides its own warmth

Five minutes outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a steady stream of roadside motels and Chinese takeout joints faded into the most intensely flat landscape I have ever experienced. A turn of the wheel and it was as if the Canadian world had depopulated, leaving nothing but open road and yellow, rustling grain fields and a snow globe’s worth of cotton ball clouds floating overhead.  I was...

Anxious parents of infant on first flight pack treats — for fellow passengers

Brett and Samantha Kellgren weren’t looking forward to taking their infant son on his first plane ride, an early-morning Southwest Airlines flight from their hometown of Chicago to Boston.  “I felt like if it wasn’t a family wedding, we probably wouldn’t have done it,” said Samantha Kellgren, 33. “I didn’t know how it would go. Would he be awake the whole...

Florida towns’ claims to fame: We’re No. 1

Florida is known for making headlines — alligators end up in swimming pools, iguanas come out of toilets and people are always in the news for outrageous crimes. And with all the funny stories come interesting titles and nicknames for the cities within.  Here are some Florida towns and cities and what they’re famous for.   Apopka: Because of its many nurseries and greenhouses...

What W. Kamau Bell can’t travel without

Comedian and author W. Kamau Bell travels all over the country performing his standup show, “W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.” He also hosts his own documentary television show, “United Shades of America” on CNN.  Based in Oakland, California, he regularly flies to and from Los Angeles daily, or takes a red-eye to New York, spends the day working in...

Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end

To escape the madness of Manhattan's West Side, climb out of the chaos and into the calm of the High Line. More than 10 entry points between Gansevoort Street and 34th Street lead to the free elevated public park, a verdant refuge built nearly two decades after the last freight train hauled frozen turkeys across the tracks. The visionaries behind the urban sanctuary cleaned up the railway line, planting...

US airports near new passenger record as demand for air travel continues to grow

People are crowding into U.S. airports at near record levels, leaving airport managers worried that the country’s facilities won’t be able to handle much more of the ever-growing demand for air travel.  On June 29 — the Friday before the Independence Day holiday — the Transportation Security Administration reported that it screened 2.67 million travelers, the second highest...

Save $500 on African safaris, fly from National to Orlando for $117 and more.

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - The Perry Hotel Key West at Stock Island Marina, a new hotel on a private marina just over the bridge from downtown Key West, Florida, is offering 30 percent off rates plus an activities credit. The Experience the Perry deal starts at $450 for two nights, plus 13 percent tax, and includes a $100 excursion credit that can be used on such adventures...

Travel dilemmas: Watch fall colors in Arizona

Question: We heard that Arizona has fall colors, and that will save us a trip to the East Coast. Can you tell us where in Arizona we need to visit and the time of year?  Theola and Norm Kirschenbaum   Whittier, Calif.   Answer: I snickered when I received this query from the Kirschenbaums, the same way I snickered 25 years ago when I moved to California and someone asked me...

'The Internet doesn't call you back:' AAA's case for more human travel agents

Car stalled on the side of the road? AAA awaits your call.  Trying to plan a vacation? AAA wants to get your there, too.   The company widely known for its roadside assistance is hiring work-from-home travel agents to join its roughly 3,200 full-time agents nationwide, even as much of the travel industry has shifted, in the age of the Internet, to do-it-yourself online bookings. ...

Waikiki Beach is only two miles of Oahu. The rest is well worth checking out.

OAHU, Hawaii - The towers of Waikiki Beach cast such long shadows over Oahu that it seems daunting, in the mind's eye at least, to escape them when weighing a visit to Hawaii's most populous island.  But it can be done, and we did. Odysseus-like, I lashed my hands to the mast of a Kia Optima for a week this spring while my family crew and I motored around the island's perimeter, ignoring Waikiki's...

Visiting Guatemala after a deadly eruption

As Guatemala struggles to recover from the devastating eruption last month of the Volcán de Fuego in the picturesque highlands, tourism officials, hoteliers and language-school owners are contending with another challenge: convincing tourists that Guatemala’s shimmering lakes, ancient Mayan treasures, and, yes, stunning volcanoes, are safe and waiting to welcome them.  The disaster...

5 simple tips to handle a wild animal encounter on vacation

Whether it’s a beach getaway or a camping trip, animal encounters — some potentially dangerous — can happen on any vacation. Rachel Levin, a San Francisco-based writer (and a New York Times Travel section contributor), has plenty of tips to help in her new, lighthearted book “Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds.”  The book offers...

How to keep a big group from smothering your trip

The majority rule - the one that says the needs of a group outweigh those of an individual - has always been a travel industry standard. When there's a convention or a wedding, regular guests sometimes feel like second-class citizens when they find attractions, dining areas or other facilities closed to them without apology.  Most hotels and cruise lines try to balance the needs of groups and...

What I learned as a honeymoon planner for billionaires

Summer is here, which means it's officially wedding season-which means it's also honeymoon season.  Lining up a dream postnuptial vacation can be just as high-stakes as planning the big day itself - especially complicated, it turns out, if you are a billionaire.   Nobody knows that better than the planning team at Ovation Vacations, a leisure travel consultancy for ultrahigh-net-worth...

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on Prince Edward Island

From the air, the crescent-shaped Prince Edward Island resembles an exuberant smile floating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence between the coastlines of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. On land, the verdant island is a riot of color in summer, with bright-green marsh grasses, red-sand beaches and swaths of purple lupines, orange lilies and wild pink roses. At about 174 miles from tip to tip, the island is...

Yosemite National Park offers electronic park entrance passes

The number of public lands and national parks offering electronic visitor passes and permits is growing.  Yosemite National Park, in California, recently announced that it has joined the YourPassNow program, which offers visitors new digital passes. Yosemite began offering the passes June 21.   Through YourPassNow, those planning to visit a participating location can go online and purchase...

Colorado’s dinosaur graveyard a land of lasting mysteries

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway climbs north, high to epic overlooks of a forested basin, before it tumbles back to the desert that typifies far western Colorado. The road skirts Rangely, the town born by oil, and then Dinosaur, holding on by its namesake, with souvenir shops between ramshackle homes and a canyon backdrop that is the final resting place of the ancient...

Walk among giants — Woody included — at Disney World's new Toy Story Land

Do you love the “Toy Story” movies so much that you wish you could hop right inside them? Walt Disney World Resort is doing its best to make that happen. Continuing its tradition of building physical experiences in their parks to match big, popular media properties (think Pandora: The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom), Disney/Pixar opened Toy Story Land on June 30 at Disney’s Hollywood...

With ban upheld, travel industry urges a welcome for tourists

The travel industry is hoping to turn the page on a bad public relations chapter in the wake of the Supreme Court decision upholding the travel ban on five Muslim-majority nations as well as North Korea and some travelers from Venezuela.  “The most important thing is the administration has got to change its rhetoric to welcoming legitimate travelers from around the world because the noise...
From treehouses to trailers, check out these unconventional Texas hotels

From treehouses to trailers, check out these unconventional Texas hotels

Sure, hotels and Airbnbs are great, but sometimes we all crave a little something different. If you’re seeking a unique stay during your next Texas getaway, here are some spots to consider. Cypress Valley Canopy Tours The Nest at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. Contributed by Cypress Valley Canopy Tours Cypress Valley Canopy Tours may be known for its zipline tours above the lush Texas Hill Country...
Alamo Drafthouse chain to eliminate plastic drinking straws

Alamo Drafthouse chain to eliminate plastic drinking straws

The Alamo Drafthouse will get rid of plastic drinking straws from all company-owned theaters by the end of the month, says the Hollywood Reporter.  This includes theaters in Austin, Kansas City, New York, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Francisco -- about half of the brand’s 35 locations. (About half are franchises.) Apparently the Drafthouse is the first nationwide theater chain to do...
Soon you won’t be able to get peanuts on Southwest flights. You can guess why.

Soon you won’t be able to get peanuts on Southwest flights. You can guess why.

Just grab the Belvita biscuits instead, legume lovers. Starting later this summer, you won’t be able to get peanuts on Southwest Airlines flights, according to reports.  CNBC reported Monday that the Dallas-based airline will stop serving peanuts on its planes beginning Aug. 1, citing a statement from Southwest. The reason: “to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone...

5 summer programs for teens that teach empathy through community service

It is tough to be a teenager these days. High school plays out under a social media microscope, one that parents and young people can find difficult to free themselves from and focus instead on what is really important. To help expand their children’s horizons, improve their empathy and make a difference in their communities, parents (and teenagers eager to change the world) have several summer...

In Havre de Grace, Maryland, a rich maritime history - and ducks, lots of ducks

Because Washington sits at the southwest end of the Northeast Corridor, anyone with interests in the upper reaches of the zone can spend a lot of time traversing the same path, back and forth, over and over. By car or by train, and regardless of the destination, the scenery is a parade of monotony.  That's true for almost the entire journey. Almost.   For a brief moment, the tunnel...
Tidy and tiny: Top towns of coastal Ireland

Tidy and tiny: Top towns of coastal Ireland

When someone asks me about visiting Ireland, I tell them not to miss the southwest coast. This is the place to experience the wonders of the Gaelic language and old Irish civilization as well as the country’s contemporary charms. It’s the most mystical, Celtic, spiritual and rugged region of Ireland — and the towns along the way are just plain cute. There’s even a competition...
Indulging the senses in Bordeaux, France

Indulging the senses in Bordeaux, France

The children, along with a good number of their elders, frolic in one of the most impressive urban lakes you’ll ever see. OK, maybe “lake” isn’t the right word; it’s only 2 centimeters deep, less than an inch, and only appears part of the time. Le Miroir d’eau, it’s called, the water mirror (which sounds a lot better than “impressive French urban puddle&rdquo...
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