Travel


Visiting Chapel Hill? Here are three spots to find your moment of Zen

Research shows being around nature can help us recover from stress and increase well-being. I try not to go more than a few days without a forest bath — or Shinrin-yoku, as they say in Japan. My Colorado backyard offers plenty of outdoor options. But when I travel, some destinations aren’t so forest-friendly. So every time I’m in a new place, I break out my Hiking Project app to...
Once the sun goes down, Venice shines

Once the sun goes down, Venice shines

I love Venice at night, and recently, I was reminded why. The evening started at one of my favorite Venice restaurants. The chef served up a seafood bounty from the lagoon, accompanied by deliciously grilled local vegetables and polenta. After dinner, twinkling from my sprightly Venetian white wine, I wandered through the tangle of back lanes, musty with history, pausing on lonely bridges to watch...
July sizzles with festivals around the state

July sizzles with festivals around the state

Texas doesn’t let triple-digit temps stand in the way of fun. From fruit-focused festivals to patriotic celebrations, here are a dozen events making a boom in the Lone Star State this July. Addison July 3: For more than three decades, Addison Kaboom Town has claimed its place among the top fireworks shows in the nation. Expect a carnival, midway games, face painting, live concerts, an air show...
In Colorado, a flair for the dramatic

In Colorado, a flair for the dramatic

In the high country of Colorado, you expect the drama of towering, snow-capped mountains, dense forests, afternoon thunderstorms, star-spangled skies at night. You don’t expect a lot of song and dance. Culture, you might think, is for the cities. It’s not that way in Colorado, though. In places that are really hard to get to, you’ll find summer repertory theater that’s highly...

Big Sur’s Highway 1 southern route to open in late July

BIG SUR, Calif. — The entire coastal stretch of California’s iconic Highway 1 will re-open at the end of July, restoring a beloved but fragile route from San Francisco to Los Angeles that has been closed for more than a year, the California Department of Transportation announced last week.  Construction on the Mud Creek section of southern Big Sur, closed on May 20, 2017, after fierce...

From the players to the Pimm’s, a visit to Wimbledon is a winning experience

When I walked onto the grounds of Wimbledon for the first time, I immediately thought of another place: Augusta National.  It was the green. I was struck by the familiar shade that permeates both facilities. Wimbledon green isn’t exactly the same as Augusta National green, but it is close enough to signify the tie between these two iconic venues.   What Augusta National is to...

The State Department held a Q&A on overseas travel with children. The responses were brutal.

The informational Q&A on Facebook Live hosted by two State Department bureaucrats expounding on the intricacies of traveling with children overseas would have hardly made a splash in any other year, perhaps.  But coming as it did in the midst of an emotional week riven by a heated discussion about the practice of separating children from parents who cross the border illegally and placing them...

Talk Travel: When is the best time to make rental car reservations?

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: Do car rental prices go up and down like airline tickets do? Is there a best time to reserve? I'm going to Vancouver at the end of July. Should I reserve a car now, because prices will probably go up? Or wait in case they go down? Or does it not matter? ...

Goodwill and butterflies

To loosely paraphrase Tennessee Williams’ Blanche Dubois: When you travel with a family, that’s when you really depend on the kindness of strangers. The thought occurred to me, any number of times, during a three-day weekend late in April that I spent in Montreal with my husband, Howie; our son and daughter-in-law; and three young grandchildren.   I was struck not only by how...

Universal: ‘Jurassic World’ suites set for Royal Pacific hotel

Suites with dinosaur decor now are available at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Families can tuck their children in the hotel’s new Jurassic World Kids’ Suites.  Twin beds are tricked out with a gyrosphere look and carpeting that looks like a terrain map. The bedding is themed to the test tubes used in the movie to create a modern species of dinosaurs in the &ldquo...

After violence, Congo’s Virunga National Park closes for the year

On the morning of May 11, Rachel Masika Baraka, a park ranger, was setting out on a normal day at work in Virunga National Park, the oldest, largest and most biologically diverse park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Baraka, 25, one of the park’s 26 female rangers, would be accompanying two British tourists, Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty, and the Congolese driver of their vehicle during...
Adventurous cruise in the Pacific Northwest, top trips in Europe

Adventurous cruise in the Pacific Northwest, top trips in Europe

Cruises on the Columbia River aboard small ships have been gaining in popularity, and many of the tours are aimed at oenophiles, with visits to the vineyards that produce many of the Pacific Northwest’s famous wines. UnCruise Adventures offers such voyages, but, true to its name, it has a new itinerary that incorporates other adventures too. The 86-passenger S.S. Legacy sails one-way between...

Finding the fun in a family road trip

When Matt Villano sets out on the 560-mile road trip from his home in Healdsburg, California, to San Diego in July, his game plan will be carefully crafted. When you're traveling with three kids under age 10, you have no choice.  Villano, a freelance writer who blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod, is no novice. He has traveled extensively, by plane and automobile, with his wife and daughters...

You're going where? St. Louis

St. Louis is my home away from home. It's where I was born, and while I wasn't raised here, it's where I spent the bulk of my childhood vacations chowing down on gooey butter cake with grandparents and feeding goats at Grant's Farm with cousins. It's also a place I've learned to appreciate, in its own right, as an adult. Last year, I visited five times, and between toasted ravioli (t-rav) crawls on...
Following in wagon ruts of American history on Oregon Trail

Following in wagon ruts of American history on Oregon Trail

A cold wind from the Blue Mountains carries the scent of sagebrush as it whips your face. Each step stirs dust on the dry path in this high desert plateau in eastern Oregon, where hundreds of thousands of American pioneers walked, changing the course of history. A roadside sign beneath Flagstaff Hill points the way to this path, where you can walk in the actual ruts made during the mid-1800s by the...
Wenatchee with rose, Mariachi music, and a farmer who feeds the world

Wenatchee with rose, Mariachi music, and a farmer who feeds the world

A pair of large dogs, too old to be bothered with actually getting up, wag their tails in eager welcome from recumbent positions in the foyer. We’re early, and Ludger Szmania, co-owner of Warm Springs Inn & Winery along with his partner Julie Szmania, is busy mowing the lawn. These two adorable pups are the first to welcome me and my partner, Steve, to Wenatchee, Wash. Waiting on the lush, sun-loved...

At a nostalgic Paris restaurant,food takes a back seat to fun

The scene is a familiar one in Paris: an expansive, brightly lit dining room and servers decked head-to-toe in black and white, darting between tables with a balancing act of dishes in one hand and carafes of wine in another. Diners sit elbow-to-elbow in rows of ruby red leather banquettes or wooden bistro chairs, chatting over generous portions of beef Bourguignon and escargots dressed in parsley...
Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live’ at Epcot

Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live’ at Epcot

A walk through Epcot these days feels a little … off. The theme park currently is between festivals, so the marketplaces/outdoor kitchens are mostly out of sight. I find myself thinking “Why is there so much elbow room right here? Oh, there’s usually a barbecue pit, right?” It was surprising to realize we’re a solid two months from the next extended event, the Epcot...
5 ways to savor solace of open spaces

5 ways to savor solace of open spaces

Numerous studies suggest that spending time in nature is beneficial for our mental and physical health. Here are five ways to ease the stress of daily life and savor the solace of open spaces. 1. Consider forest bathing The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku is not exercise or jogging on a forest path. Rather, the idea is to bathe in the calming powers of the natural world by ingesting the sights,...

At Black Ivy in Edinburgh, little luxuries and a big breakfast

4 Alvanley Terrace; weareblackivy.com From about 80 pounds (about $113).  If Black Ivy feels like a stylish gastro pub with lodgings attached to it, that may be because it’s the brainchild of Billy Lowe, an Edinburgh entrepreneur who created and ran dozens of bars in the city before his companyopened the 22-room hotel last November. Black Ivy, in three adjoining Victorian townhouses, looks...

Travel dilemmas: Entertainment is up in air

Question: I recently flew from Barcelona, Spain, to Los Angeles on two flights. I was surprised that there were no individual seat-back screens available to distract us with movies or programs. We were expected to watch movies on our tiny cellphones (or tablets), using a downloaded app for the combined 13 hours in the air. This was quite a surprise. Only 18 months before, another airline had provided...

In Madagascar, floored by the flora while fawning over the fauna

A biologist by training, I ask a lot of questions - so many that I've been compared to Frank Columbo, the 1970s TV detective whose tag line was, "Just one more thing . . ." My inquisitiveness, however, focuses on understanding the curious attributes and adaptations of plants and animals.  Questions at the ready, I signed up with Exodus Travels to cycle and trek in Madagascar. The world's...

Jefferson's Monticello finally gives Sally Hemings her place in presidential history

You cannot see Thomas Jefferson's mansion, Monticello, from the small room burrowed into the ground along the south wing of his estate. When the door is closed, you can't see anything at all, because it is a windowless room, with a low ceiling and damp walls.  But this was, very likely, the room inhabited by Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who bore six of Jefferson's children, a woman about...

Airline urges tighter policy on alcohol sales after rowdy passengers force flight to divert

A European airline has called for stricter policies on selling alcohol at airports after rowdy passengers forced a flight to divert over the weekend.  Ryanair, an Ireland-based carrier that ranks as one of Europe's busiest, urged airports to limit the number of alcoholic drinks and the hours of service to prevent intoxicated people from boarding aircraft.   Ryanair's request, first...
Discount carrier adding flights from Austin to Amarillo

Discount carrier adding flights from Austin to Amarillo

Another week brings another new nonstop flight to Austin’s airport. Discount carrier ViaAir said Tuesday it will fly from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Amarillo beginning Sept. 19. The service will run six days a week, Sunday through Friday, operating out of the South Terminal. “Both Austin and Amarillo are amazing cities and we’re excited about the opportunity to serve...
SeaWorld Orlando sails into summer with free beer, dolphin show, ‘Ignite’ fireworks

SeaWorld Orlando sails into summer with free beer, dolphin show, ‘Ignite’ fireworks

SeaWorld Orlando is all set for summer. The theme park has its Electric Ocean promotion in place with special nighttime activities, but there are other changes — including the (eventual) opening of its Infinity Falls raft ride. Here are five things to know before you go to SeaWorld.  EXCUSE ME WHILE I. The park has introduced a show called “Touch the Sky,” which basically acts...

Five getaways with local food festivals that are worth the trip

Some hotels try to create buzz by opening restaurants with high-profile chefs. Lately, however, a growing number of properties want to offer more and are throwing entire food festivals instead.  Michael Heflin, senior vice president for the hotel division of Travel Leaders Group, thinks that hotels are getting into the festival business because they want to offer guests, as well as the local...

Critics question influence of air perks on Congress

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., canceled most of the Senate's August recess, lawmakers and staffers didn't have to worry about one thing: airline ticket change fees.  That's because airlines allow members of Congress and their staff to book fully refundable fares at about the same rate their constituents pay for a highly restrictive nonrefundable ticket - a potential savings...

With jet fuel prices up nearly 50 percent, fliers eventually will pay more, experts say

Jet fuel prices have shot up 40 percent to 50 percent over last year, but airline passengers in the U.S. don’t need to worry about airfares following that trend — yet.  Two of the nation’s largest airlines warned this week that rising fuel prices are cutting into their profits but suggested that air travelers probably will not feel the pinch of higher ticket prices for several...

Place 16 of 52: The arts are flourishing in Cincinnati

Before last month, I had been to Cincinnati only once or twice, but I could have sworn I had lived there. My freshman year roommate, Dargie, grew up there, and, I’m convinced, must have been sent from the tourism board of the future to indoctrinate me with the idea that Cincinnati is one of the greatest places on Earth. Her family even got involved, with shipments of the city’s famous...

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Park City, Utah

In an old Utah mining town that has turned into a mountain resort, you would expect a healthy dose of burgers, skillets and other eat-and-get-back-out-there fare. Park City has all that. But thanks to relentless development and investment - including Vail Resorts' 2014 acquisition of the local ski mountain - dining options run the international gamut, including tapas, sushi, nouveau American, Indian...

How seeing rhinos may help save them

We'd been driving for close to three hours. The sun was setting in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, casting the bush in a gray and orange haze, our eyes working harder to adjust to the darkness. Soon we'd have to give up the search. Sitting in the tracker's seat at the front of the Land Rover was Barry Peiser, rhino monitor at Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve. He had been analyzing dung...

Hawaii Rep. Gabbard wants tourists to stay away from volcano

Traveling between Washington and the eight Hawaiian islands she represents is second nature for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. It’s a 5,000-mile, two-flight, 11-to-15-hour trip home to Oahu. Then she boards another plane to each of the islands.  This has been a rough couple of months for Hawaii. The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island that erupted May 3 has frequently been in the...

The latest luxury hotel perk? A chance to hit the racetrack

"Track driving is one of the world's great equalizers," says Maggie Smith, owner of Winvian Farm, a 10-cottage hotel in the posh countryside of Lichfield, Conn.  By most accounts, Winvian Farm is a slow-paced getaway. It's an oasis for overworked New Yorkers and New Englanders where activities typically consist of biking around the woodlands, picking herbs from an organic garden and...

DC's secret Navy museum is amazing - if you can figure out how to get in

WASHINGTON - Last month, I wrote about the Naval Heritage Center, a museum that's easy to visit but offers little to see. Now I want to tell you about a museum that's tough to visit but absolutely jam-packed with fascinating stuff: the National Museum of the United States Navy.  Though the NMUSN is free and open to the public, it's on the Washington Navy Yard - a military base that intentionally...

5 perks travel agents offer beyond booking your trip

Most people assume travel agents do little more than charge you money for booking trips, something most people are comfortable doing online. However, they can do a lot more beyond planning your vacations.  “Of course we specialize in building travel itineraries, but good advisers can help you in all sorts of ways that most people don’t realize,” said Rob Karp, chief executive...

In Eastern Oregon, a unique golf resort emerges with ‘a story to tell’

SILVIES, Ore. — Scott Campbell is an unlikely golf pioneer in an unlikely place — building an 18-hole, reversible golf course in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, 35 miles from the nearest small towns and about a 3-hour drive from the nearest population centers of Boise and Bend, Ore.  The Retreat and Links at Silvies Valley Ranch intends to introduce travelers to “Frontier...

Travel deals: Sale fare to Seattle and free third night at a luxury California resort

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - The Monarch Beach Resort, a AAA five-diamond property in Dana Point, California, is offering a free third night plus a resort credit. A three-night stay starts at $1,106 and includes taxes, the free night (worth $550) and a $250 credit that can be applied to golf, spa treatments and on-site dining. Book by Sunday and travel by Oct. 31. Info...

Musk company to build Chicago-to-O'Hare express transport

CHICAGO (AP) — Entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday a high-speed transportation system that will whisk people between downtown Chicago and O'Hare International Airport at speeds of up to 150 mph could be operational in about three years.  Musk joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to formally announce that a Musk-owned enterprise, The Boring Company, was selected for the project and will fully...

Carrying a real apple or a fake Gucci? Tell a Customs and Border Protection officer anyway.

Earlier this year, a passenger was standing on the jet bridge, moments from boarding his South African Airways flight, when an obstacle appeared in the shape of a Customs and Border Protection officer. During the random search at Washington Dulles International Airport, the law enforcer asked the man how much money he was carrying. He responded $500, normally not an amount an officer would question...
Seeking solitude, and celebrating a milestone, in West Texas

Seeking solitude, and celebrating a milestone, in West Texas

I’m driving near Alpine on a clear, sunny Thursday afternoon, four days before my birthday. It’s mid-March, which means it should be temperate out in these parts, yet heat ripples against the glass of my car windows. A lone tumbleweed snags the breeze, and a small lump immediately forms in my throat. Maybe we’re all just conditioned to experience lonesome wanderlust at the sight...
Britain’s royal residences: Where the queen cools her crown

Britain’s royal residences: Where the queen cools her crown

Chances are you weren’t invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — neither was I — but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit Windsor Castle, where it happened, or other royal residences in Great Britain. In addition to Windsor Castle, London’s Kensington, Buckingham and Hampton Court palaces — and the more remote Balmoral Castle in the Scottish...
Disney: ‘Star Wars’ land village will be called Black Spire Outpost

Disney: ‘Star Wars’ land village will be called Black Spire Outpost

When Walt Disney World visitors go to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next year, they’ll be able to visit the village of Black Spire Outpost via Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. That’s the latest incremental news about the under-construction land. Walt Disney Co. recently announced that the Star Wars area will open in late fall of 2019 at Hollywood Studios and debut in Disneyland...
Travelers overlooking Cincinnati, N. KY miss out on style, substance

Travelers overlooking Cincinnati, N. KY miss out on style, substance

Cincinnati is a city that often fails to get its proper due. Along with fellow Midwestern stalwarts St. Louis, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Kansas City, Mo., it’s often overlooked in favor of other metropolises perceived as being more glamorous. In a classic case of substance over style, the Queen City shrugs its shoulders and soldiers on — re-vamping, re-inventing and re-energizing itself...

The airports with the speediest free wi-fi

If you're looking for an airport with quick, complimentary wi-fi, head west. Seattle-Tacoma International's connection took the top place in a new ranking of North American airports by software firm Ookla LLC, which runs the site Speedtest.net.  SeaTac more than doubled its download speed from last year, reaching 103 Mbps. Denver, which topped the list over the past two years, came in second...
New floating water park and obstacle course to open on Lake Travis June 29

New floating water park and obstacle course to open on Lake Travis June 29

If you’ve been seeking a new way to make a splash this summer, you’re in luck — a floating water park and obstacle course will open on Lake Travis at the end of this month. Waterloo Adventures, a floating water park on Lake Travis, is expected to open on June 29. Contributed by Waterloo Adventures The new park, called Waterloo Adventures, comes from the same team that...
In the mood for Texas ghost towns? Of course you are.

In the mood for Texas ghost towns? Of course you are.

The fine people at My SA.com have asked an important question: Aren’t you or ain’t you not afraid of no ghost (town)? In a piece called “Creepy Texas ghost towns totally worth a road trip this summer,” MySA makes the case that, well, if you are going to take a hot day trip in Texas, you might as well hit up some ghost towns. We agree 100 percent. In case you were wondering...

How airline stopover programs can work for you

Travelers increasingly can visit two destinations for the price of flying to one: Several new airline stopover programs are trying to entice fliers to do that by offering appealing reasons to spend time in the city that they are connecting through.  George Hobica, an airline industry analyst, said that attractive stopover programs, created for destinations where the airline is based, are a growing...
Ecuadorian Amazon is a watery paradise

Ecuadorian Amazon is a watery paradise

If I close my eyes, I can still feel the warm, tropical breeze blowing across my face as our cigar-shaped motorboat purrs down the brownish, silt-laden Cuyabeno River, heading for the remote Siona Lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon region. Our two-hour boat ride into the heart of the 2,300 square-mile Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve exposes our small group of adventurers to the wonders of a tropical rainforest...

Extreme fire danger forces another national forest to close

DENVER (AP) — Extreme fire danger prompted officials to shut down a sprawling forest that includes some of Colorado's most stunning mountains in a region that attracts tourists from around the world, a rare tactic also being used in neighboring states as the U.S. Southwest struggles with severe drought.  National forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already been shut down as...

Talk Travel: Is Nicaragua safe for tourists? Maybe. Check with the State Department.

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I've not seen a lot of news on Nicaragua, but from what I have seen there are protests and some clashes between the government and protesters resulting in some deaths. I was planning a trip there in January, but I don't really know if the scope of this...

These new airport lounges are designed to fight jet lag

A stretching studio. Guided meditation sessions. Shower suites with light therapy. They sound like the features of a new age spa. But all are elements of Qantas Airways' new international transit lounge at the Perth Airport. And they're all designed with one purpose in mind: helping you combat jet lag.  It's an especially relevant proposition for the Australian carrier that in March launched...
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