Travel


Boise takes whitewater park to the next level

Work should begin by early November on the second phase of Boise’s Whitewater Park, Boise Parks and Recreation director Doug Holloway said.  Crews have to wait until irrigation season ends and the Boise River drops to winter levels, Holloway said. After that, they’ll begin work on the riverbank. They’ll add tiered seating and build take-out and put-in points for surf boards...
A new Baltimore luxury hotel shines with history's luster

A new Baltimore luxury hotel shines with history's luster

Two minutes into my stay at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, I'm whispering a secret password to the bartender.  "Here's your history," he says, splashing a healthy dollop of whiskey into my glass of ginger-infused fruit juice.   Okay, okay, I admit the free cocktail is simply restitution for my room not being ready. But it does make a gal feel special.   And that...

Want to see the stars? Take a trip to Idaho’s first designated dark-sky park

BOISE, Idaho — When all of Idaho’s smoke clears, you’ll have a chance to see the stars from the state’s newly designated International Dark Sky Park at Craters of the Moon National Monument.  The International Dark-Sky Association, a nonprofit that fights light pollution, granted Craters of the Moon its silver-tier park status thanks to an application from Craters superintendent...
Much excitement on the Oregon Trail

Much excitement on the Oregon Trail

GASTON, Ore. — In the kitchen at the headquarters of Big Table Farm, the home of the proprietors Brian Marcy and Clare Carver, a few words to live by are written on a blackboard hanging a bit lopsidedly on a wall:  “Do a little bit every day towards your dream."   The husband-and-wife team has operated the winery in just this fashion since acquiring 70 acres off a dirt...

Talk Travel: How to navigate Los Angeles by plane, train and automobile

The Washington Post's travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I am moving to Europe with my 17-lb dog. She can fit in a large mesh carrier under the seat, but it's a squeeze. But I believe trans-Atlantic flights might have more room under the seats. Is that true? Are the pet restrictions a case-by-case or with the new normal...

In Alaska town packed with cabs, bootleggers give you a ride

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A far-flung Alaska town is known for having streets that are among the most taxi-congested in the U.S. in proportion to the small number of people who call it home.  For years, locals knew the cabdrivers as a source for illegal booze in Bethel, which has 58 taxis for its population of 6,200 — one for every 107 residents. State police heard the rumors and launched...
Getting to the bottom of a Lafayette mystery in York, Pennsylvania

Getting to the bottom of a Lafayette mystery in York, Pennsylvania

In the city of York, Pennsylvania, a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette - the famous French major general in the Revolutionary War - smiles wryly. His facial features are overexaggerated; he bears some semblance to a cartoon. One arm is outstretched with a drink in mid-toast.  Made of bronze and wearing a blue-tinted officer's coat with red trim, the marquis could almost be mistaken for a street...
Flow of tourists to U.S. declined in first quarter

Flow of tourists to U.S. declined in first quarter

Fewer international travelers came to the United States during the first few months of this year than over the same period last year, confirming concerns of some in the travel industry.  New figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce show a drop in international visitors to the United States by close to 700,000 in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the previous year. European countries...
Why it's a real mistake to count on a cellphone when you go hiking

Why it's a real mistake to count on a cellphone when you go hiking

Sarah Savage was alone in the woods and didn't know which way to turn. She had been eager to explore the Appalachian Trail when she moved to Pennsylvania and discovered that her house was near an access point. But not long after she took off from the trailhead, the path branched in different directions. She wasn't carrying a cellphone or a map. Nervous, she turned back.  "I was afraid of...

What every hiker should carry

REI's list of 10 essentials that every hiker should carry: - Map and compass   - Sun protection   - Insulation (rain gear)   - Headlamp and batteries   - First-aid supplies   - Fire (waterproof matches and fire starter)   - Knife or a multi-tool   - Food   - Water   - Emergency shelter (e.g., space blanket)
Hotel buffets, a culprit of food waste, get downsized

Hotel buffets, a culprit of food waste, get downsized

Lawrence Eells, the executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, in Florida, would like his kitchen, or at least its operations, to be as lean as his roast beef. So in April, he welcomed a team of researchers looking at ways to reduce food waste, especially around the abundant all-you-can-eat buffets.  Experts from Ideo, the global design firm known for such creations as Apple’s first mouse...
Travel dilemmas: Making that flight connection

Travel dilemmas: Making that flight connection

Question: When one needs to make a connecting flight, say from Frankfurt, Germany, to Milan’s Malpensa in Italy, what is a reasonable layover time to ensure both passenger and bags get to the same place at the same time? Melanie Gnad, Simi Valley, Calif. ——— Answer: There is what is an allowable connect time, and there is what is reasonable, and these often are not the same...
Minnesota island retreat takes on a different tone in fall

Minnesota island retreat takes on a different tone in fall

As the vintage wooden Chris-Craft shaved a path into the still lake, shades of coral, cherry and lime rippled in the trailing wake. The florid shoreline, replicated in those blurred patches of water, seemed to be preening. “The colors are just really getting going,” said Michael Andrews, our captain. “By the end of the day, you’ll see — it’s going to get even better...
A 2017 drive through the 1977 AAA Mid-Atlantic TourBook

A 2017 drive through the 1977 AAA Mid-Atlantic TourBook

Of all my family vacation memories from the late 1970s, those from inside our wood-paneled station wagon are among the most vivid. In the back, my little sister's legs stuck straight out and predictably kicked the back of the driver's seat. I sat next to her, and if I crossed the imaginary line between us, I made sure to do so when my parents weren't looking. My father usually drove the speed limit...
Maui’s heavenly Hana is more than just a road trip

Maui’s heavenly Hana is more than just a road trip

HANA, Hawaii — Hana, on the east side of the island of Maui, might not be literally a one-horse town, but it is tiny, with a population of 1,258. We saw only one horse, looking over the fence at us next to the Hasegawa General Store. The horse blinked and chewed, not much interested, then returned to mowing the verdant field, mouthful by mouthful. My friend Sarah and I stood in the sun and watched...
A family travel playbook: Make plans, prepare to let them go

A family travel playbook: Make plans, prepare to let them go

Clearly, the GPS had gone haywire.  We were sitting in our rental car in Belgium, in search of Bruges. After directing me down a series of increasingly narrower country roads, it now wanted me to head into the driveway of a modest suburban house. The children in the back seat were laughing; my wife, to my right, was not.   “It’s getting dark. What are we going to do?&rdquo...

Those on-time flight numbers? They’re expected to decline next year

Each month the Transportation Department announces the percentage of domestic flights that arrived on time, and the number has generally been rosy this year, ranging from 76 to 83 percent of the flights tracked.  But that record is not likely to continue. Starting next year, the government will begin counting flights operated by smaller carriers and the major airlines’ regional partners...
Asheville’s best places to chill out and chow with your dog

Asheville’s best places to chill out and chow with your dog

Having enjoyed the few days I was able to spend in Asheville, N.C., years ago, I made sure to jump quickly on a two-month pet sitting opportunity when it arrived in my inbox earlier this spring. This extended visit has provided me with an insight I didn’t fully appreciate the last time I was here. This place has virtually barrier-free access to the region’s rural amenities. While other...
Wine lovers strike it rich wine tasting in Sutter Creek

Wine lovers strike it rich wine tasting in Sutter Creek

SUTTER CREEK, Calif. — The Gold Rush brought a flood of argonauts, gamblers and adventure-seekers to California’s gold-flecked hills. But modern-day visitors are wooed by something else — a taste of the Wild West, yes, but one washed down with barbera and rose, perhaps with a little charcuterie or fried Brussels sprouts on the side. We’ve arrived in the charming gold country...
In the Kingdom of Tonga, underwater wonders and Polynesian hospitality

In the Kingdom of Tonga, underwater wonders and Polynesian hospitality

As I stepped off the little boat after 48 hours of travel, I felt a little like Tom Sawyer. Mostly because my family would be staying in a treehouse. But also because the island looked like something out of a storybook.  The jungle-covered knoll crested gently out of the sea, a small dot punctuating the lagoon between larger islands. A hammock swung between two coconut trees on a sliver of beach...
Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West

Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousand or even millions of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging and other development.  Zinke's recommendation, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, prompted...
Frequent flier programs generate profits for airlines and frustration for travelers

Frequent flier programs generate profits for airlines and frustration for travelers

Alaska Airlines employees have long received bonuses for helping reach on-time arrival goals and improve passenger satisfaction scores. And they recently got a new way to earn a pay bump: If more travelers sign up for the carrier’s frequent flier program.  For good reason. Airline loyalty programs, which began nearly 40 years ago as a promotional gimmick, are becoming increasingly lucrative...
Bicyclists get free roadside assistance in Connecticut city

Bicyclists get free roadside assistance in Connecticut city

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Maureen Hart was riding home on the Founders Bridge into Hartford when the tire on her bicycle went flat.  Stranded on her way home from a friend's house, Hart took advantage of a program she'd learned about just days before. While at a jazz concert in Bushnell Park, she and other friends who rode there were approached by a city bicycle "safety ambassador,"...
A Chicago restaurant with an impressive pedigree and a Nordic soul

A Chicago restaurant with an impressive pedigree and a Nordic soul

Bites: Elske, Chicago  Chicago is home to many pricey temples of fine dining (Alinea, Oriole, Grace, et al), but chefs Anna and David Posey wanted to create an alternative to the overly formal, often dauntingly expensive prix fixe experience. “We both like very fancy things, but we like going about them casually,” David Posey said. The result is Elske, which opened in December in...
Much more going on in Chapel Hill than the Tar Heels

Much more going on in Chapel Hill than the Tar Heels

Like many fans of North Carolina, my family counts artsy Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially during leaf-peeping season, among our favorite destinations.  Yet of all the places we've been in this Southern state, we're most fond of Chapel Hill.   Or as we've taken to calling it: Land of the Lotus-Eaters, in mock Homeric tribute to how hard it is to leave the town.  ...

The many ways in which a simple scent can fix your travel woes

At Bloomberg Pursuits, we love to travel. And we always want to make sure we're doing it right. So we're talking to globe-trotters in all of our luxury fields-food, wine, fashion, cars, real estate-to learn about their high-end hacks, tips, and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.  World famous fragrance guru Jo Malone, 54, founded her namesake candle and scent...
A vacation with technology in tow

A vacation with technology in tow

Forget just taking pictures with your phone’s camera — there are far more creative ways for travelers to use technology to capture memories from their trips, says Dennis Crowley, the co-founder and executive chairman of Foursquare, a company behind two location apps that have 50 million global users a month. “Between various apps and social media platforms, you can preserve experiences...

Travel deals: Sale on business-class air to Paris, $400 off a Turkey package

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  --Geckos Adventures, an adventure travel company for ages 18 to 29, has discounted its Halloween in America trip. The seven-day tour, which travels from Boston to New York City, costs $1,359 per person double, down from $1,510, Price includes two nights in hotels and four nights in hostels; a variety of activities, such as the Olde Town Ghost...
In the rainy season, savings in Asia and Central America

In the rainy season, savings in Asia and Central America

Travelers willing to trade unbroken sunshine for cooling rain showers may want to investigate green season deals. While traditional travel advice often suggests avoiding destinations during their rainy season, hotels and tour providers are now offering compelling reasons to rethink that point of view.  During the rainy season (sometimes called by the more positive moniker “green season&rdquo...
What Stephen King can’t travel without

What Stephen King can’t travel without

Author Stephen King has several projects out this month: “Mr. Mercedes,” a television series based on King’s first hard-boiled detective novel; “It,” a film adaptation of his 1986 best-seller; and “The Dark Tower,” currently in theaters. Maine’s most famous resident, King prefers car travel to air, and has surprisingly modest requirements when on the...
Boating the water wonderlands of South Puget Sound

Boating the water wonderlands of South Puget Sound

PENROSE POINT STATE PARK, Pierce County — It’s the most blissful part of summer: late enough in the season for warm days but with crisp mornings that make hot coffee the best discovery ever. I’m perched in the cockpit of my 32-foot sailboat, its bow line tied to a state-park buoy, with Mount Rainier filling the horizon like John Goodman fills a TV screen. As the sun rises the moorage...
'Panoramas of the City' explores St. Louis history on an oversize scale

'Panoramas of the City' explores St. Louis history on an oversize scale

ST. LOUIS — The big pictures tell a St. Louis story, but so do the details.  Yes, there’s the little boy picking his nose on one side of a panoramic photo of a 1921 golden jubilee celebration of a Jesuit priest. And the wide-mouthed woman photobombing a panorama of a crowd gathered on Art Hill to welcome home aviator Charles Lindbergh.   But there’s also the streetcars...

There's a window in my shower - and other hotel design flaws

When Marc Burdiss stepped into the shower at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, he was shocked by the clear view of the bedroom through a glass window.  "Weird," he thought to himself.   Burdiss, an emergency-preparedness consultant based in Flagstaff, Arizona, then let out a sigh of relief. When he made the reservations, he had thought of bringing his teenage...
Old-style Adirondacks retreat offers a place to unplug and unwind

Old-style Adirondacks retreat offers a place to unplug and unwind

"Is it like 'Dirty Dancing'?"  That's the question I'm inevitably asked when I tell people where I'm headed for summer vacation. Timberlock is an old-fashioned camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, so remote that there is no connectivity. There's also no electricity in the 23 simple, comfortable cabins that dot the shoreline of 11-mile-long Indian Lake. That's what attracted...
On the path of Chuck Berry’s ‘Promised Land,’ five decades on

On the path of Chuck Berry’s ‘Promised Land,’ five decades on

Chuck Berry’s 1964 classic “Promised Land” is all about motion. The opening guitar riff is a big and fast thing taking off, a bus leaving the station, a jet rising from the tarmac. The poor boy, our narrator, is endlessly rollin’ and ridin’, straddling that Greyhound, smoking into New Orleans, swinging low chariot, coming down easy.  It is a motion specific to the...

Ready for visitors? A post-Irma update on Caribbean islands and Florida cities

No question, Hurricane Irma was a heartless beast. Over the past week, the storm clawed its way up a chain of Caribbean islands before knocking down the door into Florida. The natural disaster left behind a war zone of roofless homes, toppled trees, crumbled hotels and flooded streets. Many destinations will need months to recover, while others have already started to bounce back.  "The...
Where your Mercedes-Benz and Porsche were born

Where your Mercedes-Benz and Porsche were born

When I stepped off the S-Bahn at the Neckarpark station in Stuttgart on my way to the Mercedes-Benz Museum, I ran into a gaggle of Idaho high school students who nicely summed up the two automotive museums they had just visited.  “Mercedes has more details and has more history,” one of them told me. Porsche, he said, was more about Porsche and its racing heritage.   There...
Camels, casbahs and more make for a magical visit to Morocco

Camels, casbahs and more make for a magical visit to Morocco

MARRAKECH, Morocco — Our two rows of camels rested in the darkness before dawn near the circle of tents in the towering Erg Chebbi dunes, a few miles from Morocco’s border with Algeria. The cool air carried the aroma of coffee brewing as the sky began to lighten. To the west, a guide was leading three camels and their passengers on a dawn ride. To the east, a few of my travel companions...
Spy museum's newest: ax used on Trotsky, parts of Powers' U2

Spy museum's newest: ax used on Trotsky, parts of Powers' U2

WASHINGTON (AP) — H. Keith Melton spent 40 years looking for the ice-climbing ax used in the bloody assassination of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. It had been sitting under a bed in Mexico City for decades.  Much easier was acquiring a mangled, basketball-size chunk of Gary Powers' U2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960. It was a gift from a Soviet official.  ...

Visiting Yellowstone in the summer, and other travel questions answered

The Washington Post's travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: We are thinking of going to Yellowstone next summer for three or four days as part of a larger road trip. The only time we can go is late July. The reviews I'm reading say that while Yellowstone is fantastic, there is a lot of bad as well. The lodges (Old Faithful...
Circumnavigating the isle of Manhattan in a kayak - a paddler's perspective

Circumnavigating the isle of Manhattan in a kayak - a paddler's perspective

The Hudson River has always seemed like a trench filled with water, its bottom a Stygian tangle of sunken boats and discarded equipment, its water an over-steeped tea somehow brewed from the lives of 8 million people. By the same token, Manhattan seemed less an island than a moored raft covered with concrete, asphalt, steel and well-tended plants.  So when I eased myself into a kayak one day...
Going with the flow in Nicaragua

Going with the flow in Nicaragua

Virtually the first thing I laid eyes on in Nicaragua was Isla de Ometepe. Besieged by taxi drivers at the dusty, hectic border, I caught a ride with a college-aged American backpacker and her Australian surfer paramour. They would take me to the surfing colony of San Juan del Sur and their party hostel — called the Naked Tiger, of course. But I was staying somewhere a little quieter. We set...
Family travel: Cabin destinations to consider

Family travel: Cabin destinations to consider

Gather the clan in a cozy cabin. Here are five to consider:  1. The Ranch at Emerald Valley, Colorado Springs, Colo. — Set amid 100,000 acres in the Pike National Forest, guests of this high mountain, luxury ranch can choose from richly appointed one-, two- or three-bedroom cabins so cozy you’ll have to force yourselves away from the fire and out the door to meet Reba, the fly fishing...
Aruba sets out a full plate of sights, scents and tastes

Aruba sets out a full plate of sights, scents and tastes

As I bounced around in the front seat of a land rover — bones jarring, joints rattling and brains scrambling – Bette Davis’s famous line in the movie “All About Eve” flashed through my mind — “buckle your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Even trussed up like a prize turkey as I was, it was impossible to overstate the bumpiness of this...

In the Caribbean, rebuilding nations — and the tourism industry

GUSTAVIA, St. Barthélemy — The pace is frantic. Residents with shovels clean the streets. Dump trucks laden with the stumps of storm-ravaged trees rumble back and forth along narrow streets. Construction crews clear downed telephone poles and debris from houses and businesses in a race to restore the lifeblood of this small Caribbean island — tourism.  Those who live here &mdash...
Ashland, Ore.: Take in a show, bike a mountain, tour a vineyard

Ashland, Ore.: Take in a show, bike a mountain, tour a vineyard

ASHLAND, Ore. — Shortly after hitting town recently, we ate a picnic lunch at a shaded table by Ashland Creek. A few feet away, children played in the water under parents’ watchful eyes as new arrivals skipped across a vintage foot bridge. That evening we had a couple rounds of fascinating local beers — one flavored with hibiscus and ginger — and a good dinner at the Caldera...
Learning local customs, whether by app or in person, eases travelers’ way

Learning local customs, whether by app or in person, eases travelers’ way

On a sales trip last fall to Seoul, South Korea, Josh Udashkin, founder of the smart luggage company Raden, quickly realized he’d better leave the matte-finish suitcase samples in his hotel room.  “The retail displays, the street fashion, shoes, purses, headphones, showed me that shiny surfaces were definitely popular in Seoul,” he said. Instead, he brought only the shiny-surface...
Is Vermont becoming the Napa Valley of beer?

Is Vermont becoming the Napa Valley of beer?

My brother Tyler and I have driven over 400 miles to Vermont to stand in line for beer. Despite our best efforts - dragging ourselves out of bed early after the previous day's marathon beer crawl - we are now standing numbers 18 and 19 in the queue of people shivering outside the Alchemist Brewery in Stowe on a cold November morning. Behind us we can see at least 40 more people, including a few we'd...

Travel dilemmas: Smart about phones abroad

It is every parent’s nightmare: Your child is going off to study abroad. As unsettling as that might be, the real nightmare comes when you get your first cellphone bill and realize you forgot to address the issue of staying in touch.  In truth, it’s not just kids; it’s anyone who travels with a smartphone. Student or senior citizen, you need to address communication needs well...
Budget-friendly getaways that are perfect for solo travel

Budget-friendly getaways that are perfect for solo travel

Traveling alone doesn’t have to be lonely or expensive. In fact, it can be perfect for travelers on a budget, those seeking adventures and especially those who like to vacation at their own pace.  Solo travel can be as relaxing or thrilling as you make it, whether you want to lounge by the beach, hit the slopes, go for a hike or spend the day fishing.   Here are some of the most...
Birders find an oasis awaits in Manhattan's concrete jungle

Birders find an oasis awaits in Manhattan's concrete jungle

"Look! Over there. Two male Blackburnian warblers are up in the honeylocust," says Birding Bob, a.k.a. Robert DeCandido, waving the green dot of the laser. It looks like Tinker Bell flitting among the leaves. "They're chasing each other."  A birdcall rings out from the phone in his hand. A bird answers.  "There's your eastern wood pewee," he says with excitement...
Among the masters at the Ferrari and Lamborghini museums

Among the masters at the Ferrari and Lamborghini museums

When I started planning our vacation to Italy my teenage sons worried about being trapped for hours in museums. I promised that wouldn’t happen, since I still have flashbacks to my parents dragging my sisters and me on exhaustive and exhausting visits to museums and places like landscape painter Frederic Church’s house at Olana in Hudson, New York.  Our two-week trip turned out to...

How to survive a marathon flight

Surviving long-haul flights wasn't Akshay Nanavati's top concern as a Marine. Nanavati, who served as a communication liaison in Iraq, worried more about what would happen after the 15-hour trip from San Diego to Baghdad.  "We had to hit the ground running," remembers Nanavati, now a consultant based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.   He made it through his tour of duty, but...
Planned ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain will swing you crazy fast at 172 feet in the air

Planned ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain will swing you crazy fast at 172 feet in the air

LOS ANGELES — Six Flags Magic Mountain plans to build a new ride for thrill seekers who have no fear of heights.  Shortly after the Valencia park launches its year-round schedule Jan. 1, it aims to open the world’s tallest pendulum ride: a 172-foot-tall attraction called CraZanity. The giant swinging disc will hold 40 riders and will reach speeds of 75 miles per hour.  ...
Traveling after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Here are some key tips

Traveling after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Here are some key tips

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have brought billions of dollars in damage to the American South and Caribbean, but the storm season isn’t over yet. “We need to keep our eye on the National Hurricane Center because the season isn’t over yet and the fact that we had two category fours in one season hit the mainland is historic,” said Cindy Antrican, public affairs manager for AAA...

United Airlines won’t be fined for passenger-dragging incident, feds say

United Airlines won’t be punished by the federal government over a passenger’s forced removal from a flight in April that put a spotlight on the growing tensions between airlines and travelers.  The Department of Transportation has concluded its investigation into the dragging of passenger Dr. David Dao and found no reason to fine the airline, the department said in a letter to United...
A polished hotel for a town’s rebirth

A polished hotel for a town’s rebirth

Check In  The Asbury   210 Fifth Ave., Asbury Park, New Jersey; 732-774-7100; theasburyhotel.com   From $125.    Just steps from the Stone Pony, the beachside rock club that helped launch the career of Bruce Springsteen, is The Asbury, the town’s first new hotel in decades. This modern, 110-room property trades heavily on the town’s rock ‘n&rsquo...

Holiday travel booking off to a busy start

If you are already thinking about or booking holiday travel, you are not alone.  According to a recent Bankrate survey, 8 million Americans have already planned and made holiday reservations.   For those who haven’t booked, September looks to be a busy month of planning. Of the approximately 35 million Americans that anticipate staying in a hotel over the holidays, 23 percent...
Looking for a London vacation rental? We tried the Plum Guide

Looking for a London vacation rental? We tried the Plum Guide

The popularity of vacation home rentals in London has surged following the Brexit referendum: Existing companies with an international presence, such as Airbnb, Onefinestay and Oasis, have all reported a significant jump in rentals, while a handful of new players offering rentals only in London, such as the Plum Guide and Cuckooz, have seen their businesses grow rapidly.  Oasis, with properties...
Big Sur is back in business, and minus the usual crowds

Big Sur is back in business, and minus the usual crowds

When a million tons of rocks tumbled down the coast of Big Sur, California, on May 20, the landslide added 13 acres of land to the region and buried scenic Highway 1 in 40 feet of dirt and gravel-the equivalent of 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It was just the latest blow for a tiny community: The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge had begun to fail in February after heavy winter storms caused slides along...
Passing through airport security with the touch of a finger

Passing through airport security with the touch of a finger

Airport terminals are often a maze of lines that choke check-in counters and kiosks, baggage drop-off areas, gates and security checkpoints.  Finding solutions to line fatigue has become a priority for the Transportation Security Administration — and a business opportunity for others. A company called Clear is using fingerprints and iris scans to spare some passengers the first phase of...

How to be a socially conscious traveler

Advocates for ethical travel don't want tourists to stop having fun, they just want them to think about how they're spending their time and money.  "Essentially we're talking about mindful travel, with an awareness of the place you're going and whether the money you spend benefits the economy of the local hosts," said Jeff Greenwald, a travel journalist and co-founder of Ethical Traveler...
Cruise lines impacted by Irma, but Florida ports could reopen soon

Cruise lines impacted by Irma, but Florida ports could reopen soon

Several of the top cruise lines took a hit as Hurricane Irma battered popular destinations and Florida’s ports. Port Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral and the Port of Tampa were closed Monday, according to Carnival. MORE: Local flights impacted as Irma strikes Georgia “Although the ports remain closed, port assessments in South Florida have already begun and we are optimistic the...
Travel tips: Making a layover memorable (in a good way)

Travel tips: Making a layover memorable (in a good way)

Many flyers view layovers as an inconvenience, but for Jaclyn Sienna India, the owner of the New York City travel company Sienna Charles, they’re an opportunity to explore the destination her flight stops in. “I try to make the place where I have to change planes a part of my vacation,” she said. “Often, these side trips end up being as exciting as my final destination.&rdquo...
A father's illness, a daughter's promise and a trip to uncharted waters

A father's illness, a daughter's promise and a trip to uncharted waters

The sailboat glided through the Tortola harbor, and I was at the helm, weaving around docks, mooring balls and yachts at rest, en route to open water. Dinghies buzzed around me, running errands for the larger vessels. And then it happened. A wheezing cough. A resigned sigh. Silence. The motor ceased to putter.  Typically, when faced with a nautical challenge, I would turn to my father for help...

Travel deals: Nonstop Southwest flights, resort stays, Bali vacation packages

This week's best travel bargains around the globe:  --Ocean Club, on Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, is offering 15 percent savings on a beachy package. The Explore the Mangroves special costs $1,374 per couple (usually $1,580) and includes four nights in a private suite, guided mangrove tour by kayak or paddleboard, daily breakfast, and taxes and fees. Travel through Dec. 22 and Jan. 6-...

Can you escape smoking at sea?

Smoking on cruises has been a struggle for some time, but company policies and ship designs are finally beginning to eradicate conflicts.  The reality is that smokers are now fewer and further between. Still, their presence — even in small numbers —greatly affects the experience of remaining passengers.   Having just disembarked Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Inspiration...
Enjoying fall in Italy

Enjoying fall in Italy

Italy is always in style as a vacation destination for travelers from the United States. The country is a best seller for Virtuoso and for the Signature Travel Network, which has a double-digit growth in sales this year for Italy trips.  Flight searches are also up, but, fortunately, airfare prices are down: between May 1 and July 10, Cheapflights.com saw flight searches to Milan and Rome from...
LA to Santa Monica: Forget beach parking

LA to Santa Monica: Forget beach parking

From downtown Los Angeles to the Westside without a car, taxi, Uber or Lyft! For many Angelenos this is a thrilling, terrifying idea, a tightrope walk without a net in a stiff ocean breeze.  But you can do it. In fact, you can do it at least two ways, thanks to the Metro Rapid Line 720 and last year’s westward expansion of the light-rail Metro Expo Line.   I recently road-tested...
Travel dilemmas: A student’s wallet abroad

Travel dilemmas: A student’s wallet abroad

A reader writes that she’s about to send her 19-year-old daughter to Italy for college-related studies and wonders what’s the best way to manage money and communications.  Note to parents: Coursework? Living arrangements? Logistics? Those are important concerns. But these money and staying-in-touch questions should be addressed first, I would argue, so you don’t have a kid who...
Venus Williams loves Hong Kong and vegan cuisine

Venus Williams loves Hong Kong and vegan cuisine

The world-renowned tennis player Venus Williams, 37, who has won seven major singles titles and reached the finals this year at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, will tell you that one of the best parts of her career is the chance it has given her to see the world. “I travel so much for tennis that I don’t count how often I’m on the road, but the sport has definitely taken...
Sparsely populated Namibia delivers lots of surprises for safari-goers

Sparsely populated Namibia delivers lots of surprises for safari-goers

My first glimpse of Africa came from a nature program I watched as a child called “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.” Seeing elephants and giraffes lumber across a dry African landscape — even on TV — was in stark contrast to my suburban wildlife encounters that entailed red robins and gray squirrels hopping across manicured green lawns. I longed to one day see Africa&rsquo...
How low-cost airlines alter the economics of flying

How low-cost airlines alter the economics of flying

For more than three years, the average one-way fare between Detroit and Philadelphia never dipped below $308, and sometimes moved higher, topping $385 at one point.  But then, early in 2016, fares suddenly started to fall, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. By the end of the year, the average one-way ticket between the two cities stood at just $183.   What...

Washington Monument will have a new elevator system and screening area when it reopens in 2019

WASHINGTON - The Washington Monument's elevator will undergo a major modernization effort and the attraction will get a new, permanent area for safety checks and visitor screenings as part of a nearly $10.8 million project.  The National Park Service said Tuesday that it awarded a contract for both projects to Grunley Construction Co. of Rockville, Maryland. Officials said the monument is expected...

Family travel: Five ways to stretch the vacation budget

When time and money are in short supply, it’s your cue to think outside the box. Here are five money-saving ways to make the most of your next family vacation.  1. Choose the right time. When you decide to travel can have a significant impact on the overall price tag of your adventure. Sign up for alerts from sites such as Airfarewatchdog and Kayak, which who will ping you when deals become...

This airline has some Florida real estate it wants to sell you

After 18 years flying as an airline for the price conscious, Allegiant Travel Co. wants to add real estate development to its list of corporate activities. The company is embarking on an audacious plan to build a 22-acre resort compound with a hotel, condominiums, bars, and restaurants on the Florida Gulf Coast in Port Charlotte.  The real estate offshoot, called Sunseeker Resorts, will have...

Flying with kids? Here's how to rethink your flights

As we head into the end of summer, we have visions of fun-filled vacation and relaxation with family on our minds.  Well maybe yes, but probably not if you plan to fly.   Traveling in 2017 has become tricky, expensive, anxiety producing and requires incredible preparation and even restraint. Stories of air-travel gone bad is regular and on the rise.   Flying may be rough,...
Stay footloose for San Francisco fun

Stay footloose for San Francisco fun

Don’t drive to San Francisco and pay $35 or more per day to park. Don’t fly and then spend steadily on a ride-sharing service or taxicabs. Don’t imagine those storied but slow cable cars will get you everywhere you want to be.  Instead, after that flight to San Francisco or Oakland, followed by the BART ride into the heart of the city, place your faith in those quaint old streetcars...

14 lessons learned from summer vacation

My summer vacation started off well enough — reading and swimming at the beach, eating full-fat ice cream (bye bye, diet) and shopping at resale places where the deals were so incredible, I bought a giant punch bowl with 30 cups and a book about birds that is written in French, a language in which my fluency is limited to pastry items such as croissant, éclair, macaron.  My summer...

6 ways to see Europe with kids for less

Visiting Europe with kids is like taking them back through time. Depending on where you travel, they could see many of the sites and landmarks they’ll discuss in school, and all while on a vacation where learning is more fun. However, planning a trip to Europe with kids that’s both educational and fun isn’t cheap. Not only do you have to fork over the big bucks for trans-Atlantic...

When in Rome, ride a Vespa

There are many ways to see a city when we travel. Some of us take guided tours by bus, some set off on our own by public transit, and some of us just walk aimlessly, discovering new things. No matter which way we go, we risk looking like that currently out of fashion word, a “tourist.” (Travel magazines these days seem to prefer “traveler” or “voyager” or &ldquo...