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12/1 Taking the Kids revised

Travel / Taking The Kids /

The 12/1 Taking the Kids column has been revised. The sentence referring to complimentary coffee and cookies at the Westin St. Francis has been deleted. The hotel no longer offers this amenity.

Christmas in Austria

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

The festive swirl of heartwarming sights, sounds and smells of Christmas abound in Austria -- the land where the season's most-loved carol, "Silent Night," was first performed more than 200 years ago.

Austria is known for its slow-paced, stop-and-smell-the-strudel attitude. For Christmas, Austrians start early, go slow and touch all the holiday...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Lauren Blumenfeld

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Lauren Blumenfeld is working on two series, including "Nightcap," the latest from Pop and Lionsgate. In 2017, you may see her on CBS in the Katherine Heigl legal procedural "Doubt." When she gets some time off from work, the busy actress says she'd like to head to Tennessee: "I'm a big Dolly Parton fan, so Dollywood is definitely on my list (of ...Read more

I can't use my Spirit Airlines vouchers -- can you help?

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I recently was scheduled to fly from Cleveland to Las Vegas on Spirit Airlines. Before I boarded, a gate agent announced that the airline was looking for volunteers to give up their seats because the plane was oversold.

Nobody was volunteering since it was a holiday weekend, and after several announcements, my companion and I decided to step...Read more

Taking the Kids -- on a quick pre-holiday getaway

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Here we go again.

The baking, the shopping, the wrapping, the parties you wish you could skip, the over-stimulated kids, and you don't even have a holiday getaway to the sun or the slopes to look forward to.

How about a pre-holiday getaway instead? Make it an overnight when you head to see that favorite holiday light display or museum exhibit....Read more

Taking the Kids: A quick pre-holiday getaway

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Here we go again. The baking, the shopping, the wrapping, the parties you wish you could skip, the over-stimulated kids, and you don't even have a holiday getaway to the sun or the slopes to look forward to.

How about a pre-holiday getaway instead? Make it an overnight when you head to see that favorite holiday light display or museum exhibit. ...Read more

A short drive north reveals the beauty of the Central Coast, from quaint towns to a grand castle

Travel / Travel News /

Pristine coastal expanses and rolling hills characterize California's Central Coast, and for me, this stretch of epitomizes everything that is wonderful about Golden State living.

Upon leaving Southern California, travelers pass through Ventura's farmlands that butt up against the coast. In Santa Barbara, tall trees shade the 101 Freeway. ...Read more

Tower power in Tuscany

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

San Gimignano is the epitome of a Tuscan hill town. About 25 miles from Florence and Siena, it's the region's glamour girl -- visually striking and perfectly preserved -- getting all the fawning attention from passing tour buses. But despite its tourist-trap feel, it's still worth slotting into ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Joan Benedict Steiger

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Joan Benedict Steiger lived a glamorous life during Hollywood's golden era. The resilient actress has survived the deaths of two husbands, including Academy Award-winning actor Rod Steiger. Still, she has fond memories of her life that she reflects upon in her memoir, "Brooklyn Baby: A Hollywood Star's Amazing Journey through Love, Loss and ...Read more

Backpack trip tells geologic story of Grand Canyon

Travel / Travel News /

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. -- When I first peered into the layer cake that is the Grand Canyon several years ago, I was surprised to spot a continuous strip of green between a grayish section and a red-brown one. "How could so much shrubbery grow in the desert Southwest?" I wondered as I stood at the edge of the South Rim.

It wasn't until I revisited ...Read more

Around the World: Get ready. Get set. Start Shopping!

Travel / Around the World /

Before you go racing off to that crowded mall to treasure hunt for your favorite travelers’ seasonal gifts, consider the variety of wonderful items that are available on line. 

Browsing the holiday catalogs of online purveyors is like discovering a treasure trove of travel gadgets and accessories. You’ll find ...Read more

I got sick before my trip and couldn't cancel my flight

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I recently was supposed to fly from New York to London on Norwegian Air. I became ill and saw a doctor two days before my flight and was diagnosed with a viral infection. I hoped that I would be well enough to travel as planned, but on the morning of my flight, my doctor advised me that I was too ill to travel. I have a doctor's note to that ...Read more

Tule Lake, Manzanar internment sites aim to shed light on 'dark spot' in American story

Travel / Travel News /

TULELAKE, Calif. -- Visit here today and you will find a spot that is more field than town, a place where arrow-straight highways pierce plantings of potatoes and onions.

It is small, with a population of about 1,000 -- many descended from 19th century pioneers.

It is also remote -- hugging California 139 in the austerely beautiful Modoc ...Read more

This is American history: Tule Lake, Manzanar, Port Chicago and Cesar E. Chavez National Monument

Travel / Travel News /

TULELAKE, Calif. -- On a late October afternoon, as icy shards of rain pellet the high desert, Angela Sutton pries open the metal door that seals off the old jail that once belonged to the Tule Lake war relocation camp.

The door swings open and we step into the pitch darkness, into air redolent of musty concrete.

Tule Lake, in a rural ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Ushering in the holidays with cool light displays

Travel / Taking The Kids /

For a lot of us, heading to holiday light displays has become as big a Thanksgiving weekend tradition as football and pumpkin pie. Besides, there's no better way to get everyone out of the house -- and avoid all the chores inevitable with a house full of guests.

"It gets me ready for the holidays," said one woman I met at ...Read more

Military airplane art display lands in Wisconsin

Travel / Travel News /

OSHKOSH, Wis. -- Artwork on an unconventional canvas -- World War II combat planes -- is the subject of a new exhibit at an aviation museum about 90 miles north of Milwaukee.

Large aluminum panels, cut from their original warplanes, show colorful cartoons, clever names and pinup girls in the temporary display at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft ...Read more

The back streets of Bohemian Montmartre

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Montmartre, the hilltop neighborhood hovering on the northern fringes of your Paris city map, is in many ways the perfect French cliche: red-and-white checkered tablecloths, artist's easels filling petite squares, and bohemian cabarets offering up high-kicking cancans. The literal high point is the bone-white Sacre-Coeur Basilica, from where the...Read more

Celebrity: Go Away With Megan Hilty

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Broadway star Megan Hilty won rave reviews for her portrayal of Glinda the Good Witch in "Wicked" and was nominated for a Tony Award for her characterization of Brooke Ashton in "Noises Off." Her latest projects include a holiday CD, "A Merry Little Christmas," and a co-starring role in the Warren Beatty film, "Rules Don't Apply."

"We filmed ...Read more

Holiday delights

Travel / Travel News /

Check out these destinations for a Christmas that even Scrooge would love

If this is the year that you decide you've had it with untangling Christmas lights, fighting mall crowds to find that "must-have" action figure or video game, and fighting over whose turn it is to host the holiday dinner, there is an alternative.

At all of the following ...Read more

Around the World: Visiting Tule Lake, Manzanar and Rohwer Historic Sites

Travel / Around the World /

There can be no doubt that travel leads to greater understanding of different cultures and the human condition. It can also dramatically reveal the consequences of regrettable human behavior – of intolerance -- throughout history.

Unfortunately, American travelers do not need a passport to witness the consequences of intolerance. We have ...Read more