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Taking the Kids: Where holiday lights build family traditions

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Maybe it's snow-tubing or racing down an ice slide in Grapevine, Texas.

So what if the snow isn't real. Those who visit the "Christmas Capital of Texas" don't care, not with more than 1,400 holiday events -- beginning November 12.

For many families, ...Read more

Tuscany's heavenly wines

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." There is no better place in the world to confirm what Ben said than in Tuscany.

This region in the heart of Italy is chock-full of great wineries, but I like to focus on two well-respected red wines, each centered on a specific town: ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Lea Salonga

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Broadway star Lea Salonga's latest role is in "Allegiance." Starring opposite George Takei, she portrays an American woman of Japanese descent whose family is locked away in an internment camp during World War II. Based out of Manila, Salonga has relocated to New York for the production's run. Just 17 when she auditioned for "Miss Saigon" -- a ...Read more

Los Feliz is LA at its best, without the big-city intensity

Travel / Travel News /

Los Angeles, vast and sprawling, can feel overwhelming. I suggest spending a couple of days in Los Feliz -- a neighborhood that will give you some of the best L.A. has to offer while eliminating the hustle and bustle you're trying to get away from in the first place.

Nestled in central Los Angeles, below the southern rim of Griffith Park ...Read more

Marquette, Mich., is mountain bike city

Travel / Travel News /

The plan, basically, was to drive east and see what happened. Plenty could go wrong as we ventured into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan without a detailed itinerary, but we had heard glowing reports of world-class mountain bike trails near Marquette, and for our family of mountain bikers, that was enough. Even if the trails didn't pan out, we ...Read more

Downtown Bakersfield: A city (un)stuck in time

Travel / Travel News /

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Jutting skyward, adding impressive verticality to low-rise downtown Bakersfield, the Fox Theater's tower presides over the H Street bustle and hum with stolid, deep-rooted grandeur. Scalloped and columned, a handsome marriage of Spanish colonial revival and art deco, the tower invites your gaze up beyond its concrete base,...Read more

Scotch whisky marks new chapter at George Washington's Distillery

Travel / Travel News /

When a couple of barrels of Scotch whisky made on American soil were uncorked and then bottled in October, it marked a new chapter in the history of George Washington's Distillery.

The reason is simple. Scotch whisky had never been made in America before. And for good reason. According to the powers that be, in this case the Scotch Whisky ...Read more

Trip to Abilene, Kan., can give glimpse into President Eisenhower's life

Travel / Travel News /

As the nation gears up for another presidential election, the good news is you don't have to travel far to get a sense of a presidential lifestyle.

This year marked the 125th year of Dwight D. Eisenhower's birth.

A trip to Abilene, 90 miles north of Wichita, affords visitors a chance to see how our nation's 34th president made decisions, lived...Read more

Around the World: Away for the Holidays, Little Things Mean A Lot

Travel / Around the World /

When you arrive at your destination after a long flight in a full-to-capacity plane staffed by attendants who, like you, would rather be at home, you're likely to be grumpy and need a little TLC.

"it's hard to describe how lonely it feels to land in a strange city on Christmas Day, and not have anyone to celebrate with," says ...Read more

I Missed My Flight To Paris -- Is My Vacation Over?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I was supposed to fly from New York to Johannesburg, but I missed my first flight, and I need help getting my itinerary restored.

Here are a few details: The first leg of my flight is from New York to Paris on American Airlines. From Paris, I'm flying to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Johannesburg on Etihad Airlines. I booked the trip ...Read more

Away for the Holidays, Little Things Mean A Lot

Travel / Around the World /

When you arrive at your destination after a long flight in a full-to-capacity plane staffed by attendants who, like you, would rather be at home, you're likely to be grumpy and need a little TLC.

"it's hard to describe how lonely it feels to land in a strange city on Christmas Day, and not have anyone to celebrate with," says...Read more

Delving into Derry

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

No city in Ireland connects the kaleidoscope of historical dots more colorfully than Derry, which is in British-ruled Northern Ireland. Small and pretty, the city is a welcoming and manageable place for visitors -- and most of its sights can be covered easily on foot.

Now a worthy tourist destination with the best city walls in Ireland, during ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Cary Elwes

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

"I'm blessed in my life to have had the good fortune to travel and I never take that for granted," says actor Cary Elwes. "It's a wonderful gift to go to new places and meet new people." Elwes' breakthrough role came almost 30 years ago when he was selected to play the dashing (and funny) Westley in the movie "The Princess Bride." Since then, ...Read more

Two nights at Frank Lloyd Wright's cabin in the woods

Travel / Travel News /

When the electric sunset broke through the high wraparound windows and surrounding tree canopy, it looked as if pink, orange and green stained-glass panels had suddenly been installed inside the Seth Peterson Cottage. One more reason the place felt more like a cathedral than a small stone cabin in the woods.

Throughout our two-night stay at one...Read more

Arches vs. Canyonlands: The rocky relationship of two national parks

Travel / Travel News /

MOAB, Utah -- A sign at Arches National Park features a quote that reads: "Let the people walk."

It's a line taken from Ed Abbey's 1968 nature writing classic "Desert Solitaire." It might seem like an odd choice: Arches, and its nearest city, Moab, Utah, have become virtually everything "Cactus Ed" hated. The asphalt road ribboning through the ...Read more

Savoring a food journey in Florida's Flagler County

Travel / Travel News /

As a small-town Southerner, I fancy myself a fried chicken and biscuits kind of girl. My country roots dictate that I indulge in anything fried, smothered and covered, or slimy, like okra and boiled peanuts.

So, then, when friends invited me to Palm Coast, on Florida's Atlantic coast, for a fall getaway, I leaped at the opportunity to swap out ...Read more

After the hike, there's plenty more to do at Illinois' Starved Rock

Travel / Travel News /

For 20 years, Lisle and Pat Elsbury made the 80-mile drive from their suburban Chicago home to Starved Rock State Park, one of Illinois' favored hiking and camping spots.

They became particular fans of Duffy's Tavern, a bar and restaurant dating to the early 1970s that stands proudly at the head of North Utica's blink-and-you-miss-it downtown. ...Read more

Where Are The Vouchers My Airline Promised?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: My wife Nancy and I recently were scheduled to fly on US Airways from Santa Barbara, California, to Hartford, Connecticut, with stops in Phoenix and Charlotte, North Carolina. When we checked in at the airport, a male gate attendant asked if we would consider moving to a different flight in exchange for $450 flight vouchers per person. We ...Read more

Around the World: Castles in the Sand at Huntington Beach

Travel / Around the World /

If beach strollers are lucky, their walk will include the discovery of a magnificent and very elaborate sandcastle, one that's bigger and better than any they've ever seen before. Or there may be a collection of them. 

These would be the work of sandcastle artist and master builder Marc Africano, whose monumental structures ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Montana has outdoor fun all year 'round

Travel / Taking The Kids /

What's up, Gertrude? We were a lot more interested in her than she was in us, I'm afraid. Gertrude was one of the 1,800-pound bison we encountered on a snowshoe trek around Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park one cold winter day.

I love Yellowstone in winter -- no crowds, lots of animals and...Read more