Travel


Turkey’s terrain, people, history make colorful trip

I’ve either been pixie dusted or turned into Barney Rubble. Everywhere I look, towering rock “fairy chimneys” dot Turkey’s fantastical wonderland of Cappadocia. I’ll also explore mystical age-old cave churches, sleep in a “cave hotel” that entombs guests and wine, and scoot-duck-gasp my way through a spooky ancient underground city, one of dozens burrowed...
Capital wonders: Mexico City for beginners

Capital wonders: Mexico City for beginners

MEXICO CITY — Like a lot of Californians, I’ve made dozens of trips to Mexico over the decades — beach resorts in Baja, Maya ruins in the Yucatan, colonial towns in the interior. Yet I’d never made time to explore the capital’s top museums and landmarks, even though their global popularity has boomed in recent years. When I finally gave myself a good look at Mexico City...
Getting to know Grenada, 35 years after the US invasion

Getting to know Grenada, 35 years after the US invasion

Where? That question lingered on the lips of Americans in October 1983 when news broke that President Ronald Reagan had sent U.S. troops to invade this tiny Caribbean nation. Grenada, population 110,000, didn’t register on the radar of many folks, and certainly not as enemy territory. By Christmas, the conflict had ended and peace was restored. Now, 35 years after Grenada grabbed headlines,...
Experiencing the magic of Northern Italy’s lakes

Experiencing the magic of Northern Italy’s lakes

The lakes of Northern Italy, nestled near the foothills of the Alps, are magical, especially, I think, on one’s first visit. It was mine — a birthday celebration that I chose to spend with a dozen strangers from the United States, Canada and Brazil. What brought us together was the promise of a walking tour filled with adventure, surrounded by beauty, steeped in history, coddled by grand...
Splashdown in Berlin: Exploring the waterways of Germany’s capital

Splashdown in Berlin: Exploring the waterways of Germany’s capital

It was only after my son turned his back to the water and jumped off the 5-meter platform, his arms reaching into space, his legs flying up and over in an inversion that rang alarm bells deep in my Dad brain, that I realized he was attempting a backflip from high above the Muggelsee, Berlin’s largest lake. This was a new trick — we’re not really a backflipping kind of family &mdash...
Break away from Kauai’s beaches and take your taste buds on a tour

Break away from Kauai’s beaches and take your taste buds on a tour

Floating on the waves and hiking through the jungle are must-do activities on Kauai. But to better commune with the westernmost of the well-populated Hawaiian Islands, I also wanted to taste the local bounty. Fortunately, there are great ways to savor what makes Kauai unique without breaking the bank at gourmet restaurants. There may be nowhere else on Earth you can visit a coffee farm, a microbrewery...
Yosemite resort pioneers covered wagon camping in California

Yosemite resort pioneers covered wagon camping in California

Crossing the bumpy prairies in covered wagons would have been so much nicer for the pioneers if those prairie schooners had air conditioning. Maybe even a Keurig coffeemaker. Alas, they did not. But this is 2018, and covered wagons can be tricked out with all manner of modern-day amenities. Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging in Groveland, Calif., has done it. The resort, 22 miles from Yosemite...
From war to wonderland in 75 years: Secrets of the Solomons

From war to wonderland in 75 years: Secrets of the Solomons

HONIARA, Solomon Islands — If it weren’t for the potholes, cavernous pits slowing us down on the road to Honiara, in the Solomon Islands, I might have missed the sign on the tree, “Dolphin View Cottage.” But Andrew, our guide, knew the road by heart. “That’s Guyas Tohabellana,” he said, waving at a stocky, dark-skinned man in rumpled shorts, a faded T-shirt...
American Airlines renovated museum awaits aviation fans

American Airlines renovated museum awaits aviation fans

FORT WORTH, Texas — Visitors to the newly renovated American Airlines’ C.R. Smith Museum can sit at the controls of an MD-80 cockpit. In a simulated operations center, they can make judgment calls about whether to send a virtual aircraft through bad weather. The recently completed multimillion-dollar renovation of the museum along Texas 360 in far northeast Fort Worth (just south of Dallas/Fort...
Exotic, diverse experiences without going abroad

Exotic, diverse experiences without going abroad

Throughout the year, families can uncover exotic and culturally diverse experiences without leaving the United States. Here are five ideas to consider: 1. Lourdes, France, in Chimayo, N.M. Pilgrims visit this “Lourdes of America” in search of physical and spiritual healing. A National Historic Monument, El Sanctuario de Chimayo is a modest adobe church that draws nearly 300,000 visitors...
Hull artwork revealed for Florida-bound Norwegian Encore

Hull artwork revealed for Florida-bound Norwegian Encore

A little taste of Spain will be coming to Miami when Norwegian Encore arrives to Florida in 2019. Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Spanish artist Eduardo Arranz-Bravo will be the designer for the hull artwork for the line’s fourth and final Breakaway-Plus class ship. The colorful and abstract design is inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s hometown of Barcelona. Norwegian Encore is the last of...
A look at the Florida Keys resorts open now or reopening later

A look at the Florida Keys resorts open now or reopening later

A year after Hurricane Irma, hotels and resorts in the Florida Keys are gearing up for the fall and winter tourism season. Hawks Cay Resort reopened completely Aug. 30 after $50 million in renovations. Cheeca Lodge reopened in March. But Little Palm Island Resort will be at work restoring the luxury property for another year. In Key West, which suffered less damage than the Lower and Middle Keys,...
Why autumn is the best time for a trip to the Boundary Waters

Why autumn is the best time for a trip to the Boundary Waters

Paddling across White Iron Lake, I looked up at the sky, cloudless and blue. Then I glided around a bend and spotted them: a pair of slim maple trees, rising from the rocky shoreline, burst into a brilliant orange. It was still early. Mid-September. In this northern edge of Minnesota, just outside Ely, most of the trees still shimmered green. But from our canoes, my paddling group witnessed hints...
Savvy ways to stay charged on the road

Savvy ways to stay charged on the road

Juggling appointments, project deadlines and video conferencing from the road with a constant ticking clock on battery power is problematic to say the least. Factor in a GPS misfire, a flat tire or even an unexpectedly long meeting, and the situation is amplified significantly. During the past year, a few new options have floated across my radar for fighting this dilemma with as little frustration...
What US travelers need to know before traveling to Cuba

What US travelers need to know before traveling to Cuba

Travel to Cuba can be confusing, especially in light of U.S. travel restrictions and advisories that often make people think twice about visiting the island. But a new U.S. travel advisory should at least help alleviate some concerns about safety. Recently the State Department softened the travel advisory on Cuba from a Level 3 (reconsider travel) to a Level 2 (exercise caution) and also resumed routine...
Tips for train travel, from someone who was stuck on one in Wisconsin

Tips for train travel, from someone who was stuck on one in Wisconsin

When traveling on Amtrak, pack well, warns Wyatt Johnston of Rochester, Minn. “Bring snacks, bring extra batteries, bring one of those portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices you can buy at Walmart. Just be an adult: Be prepared.” That is wisdom born of experience — a very bad experience. Johnston was among 267 Amtrak passengers stuck on the westbound Empire Builder when heavy rains hit Wisconsin...
Grand Cayman provides a hassle-free tropical getaway

Grand Cayman provides a hassle-free tropical getaway

GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND — I knew I was going to like Deserene Miller, also known as Miss D or Lady D — when she picked me up at the Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town. A tiny bundle of energy with an ever-present fedora perched jauntily on her head, Miss D had been assigned as my driver/guide for the four days I was on the island. After about 15 minutes, her job description...
Norwegian to return for Cuba cruises at Port Canaveral in 2019

Norwegian to return for Cuba cruises at Port Canaveral in 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line is set to finish up its first summer season of sailings from Port Canaveral, Fla., on board the Norwegian Sun, but will be back with more in 2019. The ship’s first season came as it debuted from a dry-dock overhaul, sailing on four-night voyages with overnight stops in Havana, as well as Key West, and three-night itineraries to the Bahamas. The 15 sailings to Cuba since...
Duluth bets on a new wave of cruise ships

Duluth bets on a new wave of cruise ships

Passengers are cruising Alaska’s icy coast in record numbers. Cruise ships have been making more waves in the rivers of Europe. Even the outer Great Lakes are drawing more and more luxury vessels. With the cruising industry booming across the globe, officials in Duluth, Minn., are betting that someday soon their ships will come in, too. In hopes of establishing the Lake Superior port city as...
Feds punish airline for high temperatures on delayed Dayton plane sitting on tarmac

Feds punish airline for high temperatures on delayed Dayton plane sitting on tarmac

The federal government punished Allegiant Air this week for failing to provide passengers comfortable cabin temperatures on 10 delayed flights, including a summer 2017 flight out of Dayton. The U.S. Department of Transportation fined the low-fare airline $250,000 and ordered it to cease and desist from future similar violations. Federal regulations require airlines to provide comfortable cabin temperatures...
Chasing those Chicago blues

Chasing those Chicago blues

CHICAGO — “Dancing Aloud,” a sign said. On stage, guitarist Corey Dennison, 43, white and well tattooed, had just opened an instrumental conversation with a grandfatherly figure in a White Sox cap. “This is my old man, Mr. Carl Weathersby,” Dennison told the crowd. “He taught me everything I know about the blues.” Weathersby, 65, and African-American, nodded...
Birthplace of Ginger Rogers opens as museum in Independence, Mo.

Birthplace of Ginger Rogers opens as museum in Independence, Mo.

Marge Padgitt had always loved Ginger Rogers. “I was a fan of Ginger Rogers, as was my mother,” said Padgitt, a longtime resident of Independence, Mo. “She got me interested in old-time movies and, of course, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing. There was nothing like the two of them. They were the best.” So it’s only fitting that Padgitt not only owns the Independence...
‘Bruce Lee’s Chinatown’ tour offers look beyond martial arts stardom

‘Bruce Lee’s Chinatown’ tour offers look beyond martial arts stardom

SEATTLE — Seeing Seattle’s Chinatown through the lens of the martial artist reveals the community’s rich living history. Don Wong knew Bruce Lee. As young men, they worked at Ruby Chow’s restaurant together. When Wong, leading the Wing Luke Museum’s “Bruce Lee’s Chinatown Tour” describes his connection with the martial-arts star, it’s not the brag...
5 ideas for harvest fall travel plans

5 ideas for harvest fall travel plans

The fresh air and vibrant colors of the season inspire families to harvest fall travel plans. Here are five ideas to consider: 1. Crested Butte-to-Aspen Hike. Colorado Considered one of the most scenic day hikes in the country, this trek from one iconic mountain town to another offers stunning vistas and the chance to see the famous aspen groves in all their glory. The 11-mile trail takes adventurers...
Tour the Michigan town that’s home to ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’

Tour the Michigan town that’s home to ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’

Long before Harry Potter cast a collective spell with his wizardly ways, a chubby Midwest kid who dabbled in magic was fending off evil in the fictional town of New Zebedee, Mich. His name is Lewis Barnavelt, the lovably nerdy protagonist in a series of gothic mysteries that debuted in 1973 with the children’s book “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.” Nearly half a century later...
Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport wants $1M in Ohio money for new taxiway

Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport wants $1M in Ohio money for new taxiway

Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport officials plan to seek about $1 million in state money for a new taxiway and other infrastructure work to improve safety. The airport in Miami Twp. has received federal approval for a plan that includes extending the runway 500 feet. But that project is a relatively new proposal and could take years, according to airport officials. The plan approved by the Federal Aviation...
A visit to Cheyenne won’t disappoint if you’re seeking the Wild West

A visit to Cheyenne won’t disappoint if you’re seeking the Wild West

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — When I started out on my trail ride on a scorching day with temps well into the 90s, I didn’t know I would be riding from Wyoming to Colorado. What I did know — according to the trail leader — was that along the way we could possibly see wildlife that might make the horses skittish enough to spook. The last word of advice before we set out: “If you see...
Sip your way through the teahouses of Portland, Oregon

Sip your way through the teahouses of Portland, Oregon

"It sounds weird - and it sounds weird - but if you slurp it, you'll get better flavor," the server said as he arranged a flight of four teas before me. I glanced around the busy tasting room of Steven Smith Teamaker. Everyone else was delicately sipping their brews, so I slurped surreptitiously.  I was in Oregon, at the end of a whistle-stop tour of some of Portland's best-known teahouses...
Labor Day weekend expected to set a record with 16.5 million air travelers

Labor Day weekend expected to set a record with 16.5 million air travelers

During the final holiday weekend of the summer, a record 16.5 million people are expected to fly on U.S. airlines, a 3.5 percent increase over the Labor Day weekend in 2017, according to Airlines for America, the trade group for the nation’s air carriers.  The country’s airlines are expected to fly 2.36 million passengers a day over the four-day weekend, an increase of 79,000 travelers...
An ancient land, newly optimistic

An ancient land, newly optimistic

Each time I’ve come to Yerevan in the past decade, the city has surprised me with its evolving elegance and cultural richness. The downtown has an energy that is a long way from the sleepy Soviet city I first visited in the 1980s. Walking the shady avenues off Republic Square on a recent visit, I found the city has become a hip place, with wine bars, microbreweries, cafes, art galleries, boutiques...

Robot butlers are coming to this downtown hotel. Is Miami ready for robo-room service?

Welcome to the 21st century, where a request for extra towels in your hotel room may be answered by a roughly 4-foot-high purple robot on wheels.  Miami YotelPad — an unfinished 30-story mixed-use development in downtown Miami — will employ three robot butlers for its guests. These robots don’t look like humans (thankfully?), but they’re programmed to execute tasks normally...

Don't panic: A guide to handling pre-trip anxiety

If you feel a little jittery in the moments before you leave for the airport, you might be suffering from pre-trip anxiety. It's an increasingly common malaise in a world of uncertainty and inconsistent customer service.  "Pre-trip anxiety is a form of anticipatory anxiety," explains Marie Casey Olseth, a psychiatrist based in Minneapolis. "It's not a specific phobia, such as a...
St. Lucia: A Caribbean gem

St. Lucia: A Caribbean gem

“I want to go to somewhere nice in the Caribbean,” my wife, Sharen, has told me maybe a thousand times. So finally, for her birthday, I arranged a five-day visit to St. Lucia that, I’m relieved to say, exceeded our expectations. Even though getting there required a couple of flights from our home in Carlsbad, Calif., it was worth the effort for a number of reasons, including super...
100 years later: Returning to World War I's Western Front in France

100 years later: Returning to World War I's Western Front in France

A century has passed since the battles that baptized the U.S. military into the horrors of modern industrialized warfare. Nearly three years after the guns of August opened the First World War, the first doughboys in Gen. John J. Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces - young, enthusiastic and prone to breaking into song - arrived on French shores to join the weary Allied Forces.  The United...

New Princess Cruises ship to be named Enchanted Princess

Princess Cruises has given a name to its fifth Royal Class ship: Enchanted Princess.  Coming in 2020, the ship follows the lineup of the fleet’s newest class of ship that saw Royal Princess in 2013 followed by Regal Princess in 2014 and Majestic Princess in 2017. A fourth ship, Sky Princess, will debut in 2019.   A sixth Royal Class ship has yet to be named, but is due in 2022...
Epcot’s Frozen Ever After ride leads Disney list for most evacuation calls

Epcot’s Frozen Ever After ride leads Disney list for most evacuation calls

ORLANDO, Fla. — The sun is sweltering, but a little girl wears her long-sleeved Frozen dress anyway at Walt Disney World. Another family from Chicago wakes up early so their children can ride Frozen Ever After twice by midday.  Behold the power of Frozen — a ride at Epcot that is both beloved and known for breaking down.   The Frozen water boat ride, open since June 2016...

Talk Travel: What to do with money leftover from an international trip

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I failed to use or exchange a few hundred dollars worth of soles when I had to leave Peru early due to an emergency. What should I do? Will my regular bank buy them back, or would I be better off going to a current exchange (not sure where to find those...
NE-YO has it covered with a blanket and a hat

NE-YO has it covered with a blanket and a hat

Ne-Yo, the Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, songwriter and dancer, released his seventh album, “Good Man,” in June. In addition to making music, he is also a judge, along with Jennifer Lopez and Derek Hough, on the reality competition TV show “World of Dance.”  Ne-Yo divides his time between Los Angeles and Atlanta, where his two oldest children live. He is often spotted...
Think you know Lake Superior? A 1,300-mile route gives new perspective

Think you know Lake Superior? A 1,300-mile route gives new perspective

Vibrant blue-green water lapped at my kayak, bobbing beside towering sandstone cliffs. Seagulls squawked overhead. The water that sprayed from my paddle was ice-cold, a reminder that I was paddling the largest — and coldest — of the Great Lakes. As I toured Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, I could hardly believe that this dramatic landscape was part...

Cancun still safe despite recent violence, say tourism officials

After Mexican officials discovered eight bodies in Cancun last week, the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for the country. Not surprisingly, the incident has caused some travelers to reconsider vacationing on the Yucatán Peninsula. However, security experts and tourism officials say the area remains safe for foreign visitors.  The incident took place in Cancun - located in...

Delta expands trans-Atlantic service for summer 2019

Delta Air Lines announced last week the carrier was expanding its trans-Atlantic network for summer 2019 with new routes and additional frequencies.  The airline will launch a nonstop flight from Tampa Bay to Amsterdam, Netherlands, on May 23, 2019, marking Delta’s 11th Amsterdam route from the United States and second from Florida.   Starting June 16, 2019, the carrier is also...

JetBlue increases fees for checked bags

JetBlue Airways, which for years let passengers check luggage at no charge, became the first major U.S. carrier to bump the fee for a first checked bag to $30.  The $5 increase is effective for trips booked starting Monday, Aug. 27. JetBlue also increased the charge for a second checked bag by $5 to $40 and for a third piece to $150 from $100, according to the airline's website.   The...
Watching wine happen during Oregon's annual grape harvest

Watching wine happen during Oregon's annual grape harvest

I didn't realize it at the time, but for one frantic, exhilarating, exhausting September minute, I impersonated an Oregon winemaker.  With a newfound friend's arms bracing me, and my wife and daughter madly clearing stems and gathering fruit below, my stomping feet released a purple rivulet of grape juice. Granted, our neophyte grape-stomping team's results proved to be predictably poor, but...
In Montenegro, a mellow journey along a familiar path

In Montenegro, a mellow journey along a familiar path

When planning a family trip to Montenegro last spring, I found myself telling perplexed friends who knew next to nothing about the Balkan country: “Imagine yourself in Venice, sail down the Adriatic coast, look east and stop before you reach Albania.”  But since President Donald Trump described the country, in a Fox News interview in July, as likely to trigger World War III and Montenegrins...
A casual place as cool as the name suggests

A casual place as cool as the name suggests

Chef David Nayfeld is a Bay Area native who, after four years at Eleven Madison Park in New York and a year in Europe, has returned home. His time away, he said, helped make clear the kind of restaurant he did, and did not, want to open.  “I want this to be a casual neighborhood restaurant, not somewhere posh and Michelin-starred,” he explained. “I want this be a place where...

Is it time for warning labels on plane tickets?

Airline tickets are more complicated and confusing than ever. Do they also need warning labels? Maybe.  A provision in the Senate version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act requires air carriers to disclose their baggage fees, cancellation fees, change fees, ticketing fees and seat selection fees "in a standardized format."   It's unclear whether...

Irish coast treasures

There’s a lost city called Kilstiffen beneath the Cliffs of Moher — or so the story goes — which sprawl grandly over the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Ireland.  The city was submerged and, according to legend, will remain so until the golden key to the gates are found. Or maybe you subscribe to a different theory: that an evil witch who lived there fell in love with...
In Paris, a pastry Renaissance is underway

In Paris, a pastry Renaissance is underway

Blame it on the religieuse pastry, two stacked, chocolate cream-filled puffs that sent me to patisserie nirvana the first week of my long-ago junior year in Paris. When you're used to Twinkies, that kind of experience is, indeed, a revelation. After marrying a lemon-tart-loving Frenchman and producing a daughter (vanilla macaron) and son (coffee eclair) who share my passion, I thought I had pretty...
In Juneau, locally minded chefs are redefining Alaskan cuisine

In Juneau, locally minded chefs are redefining Alaskan cuisine

If there's one thing you should know about Lionel Uddipa it's that he forages. The executive chef at Salt, an upscale yet casual restaurant that dubs its food "creative Alaskan cuisine," gets up early to head to the wilderness. Sometimes, he brings his 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Juniper, with him. She's perfect for it, he says. She can spot colors he doesn't because she's closer to the ground...
Beads, bourbon and … babies in New Orleans?

Beads, bourbon and … babies in New Orleans?

NEW ORLEANS — The family stepped warily onto Bourbon Street. Heather and Chad Bruton, a clean-cut couple from Texas, didn’t want to visit this historic city for the first time without witnessing its famed promenade of debauchery. But with three young children in tow, they didn’t want to see too much. “How come that guy died on the street?” 3-year-old Cooper said as he...

Universal adds Horrors of Blumhouse maze to Halloween lineup

Universal Orlando has announced the ninth of its 10 haunted-house mazes to be featured in the upcoming 2018 edition of Halloween Horror Nights. The latest to be revealed is called Horrors of Blumhouse and will features scenes from the films “Happy Death Day” (2017) and “The First Purge” (2018).  The attraction will feature the Babyface Killer character as well as the &ldquo...
Five tips to give kids some culture and a vacation at the same time

Five tips to give kids some culture and a vacation at the same time

“Of course you want your children to have fun on your family vacation, but why not give them a flavor of the local culture while they’re doing so?” said Niamh O’Connell, vice president for guest experience at Rosewood Hotel Group. “When kids have some understanding of the destination they’re in, their trip becomes more memorable and enriching,” she said. &ldquo...

Rebuilding Lombok after multiple earthquakes in Indonesia

Aftershocks have continued to shake the Indonesian island of Lombok after it was hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 90 people on Aug. 5. The quake followed a 6.4-magnitude temblor on July 29, which killed 17.  The island, home to hundreds of resorts, has been under various states of emergency since late July. Residents are slowly readjusting to the new normal as they have...

Japan to take up issue of pilot fatigue, raise standards to US, Europe levels

TOKYO - The transport ministry is investigating how much flights and other factors affect pilots' levels of fatigue, in a bid to improve the management of Japanese pilots' fatigue to match levels in the United States and Europe.  A shortage of pilots is feared in Japan, and the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry's fact-finding survey is aimed at preventing excessive work burdens...
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Cape May, New Jersey

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, the Jersey Shore's sophisticated sister, has more to offer visitors than beautiful beaches and charming Victorian-era homes. Thanks to its good soil and moderate climate, the Cape May peninsula is turning into a wine-growing haven, with half a dozen vineyards scattered around its southern tip. Besides the vineyards, there's Washington Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly enclave in the heart...

Travel deal: Sale fares to Europe and half-off cruises in Scotland

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - Save $600 on the Czech Republic Hiking - Vienna to Prague trip with REI Adventures. The nine-day adventure costs $2,299 per person (vs. $2,899) for members and $2,599 for nonmembers. Lifetime membership costs $20. Price includes hotel accommodations, guides and support vehicle, entrance fees to attractions and taxes. Sale applies to all departures...
Couple converts school bus into traveling tiny home

Couple converts school bus into traveling tiny home

WICHITA, Kan. — Imagine paying less than $20,000 for your dream home.  Now imagine being able to take that home with you wherever you travel.   That’s the reality for Wichita couple Sam and Jordan Page — and Penni the Yorkie-Poo.   Over the past eight months, the Pages have converted a school bus into a posh tiny home.   Now that the project is...

Family travel five: Plans do not need to end when school bell rings

When the school bell rings, must travel plans come to end? Here are five ways to keep your travel dreams on track while school is in session.  Scan the school, sports and activity calendars to assess windows of opportunity. Will your children participate in multiple sports, school theater productions or volunteer activities? Pair those results with your work and personal calendars for the best...
Overnight getaways before (or after) the kids go back to school

Overnight getaways before (or after) the kids go back to school

A frantic fall schedule may be just around the corner, but hotels in Kansas City, Missouri; Mexico City; Miami Beach; and Key West, Florida, are offering attractive deals for one last getaway before summer comes to a close.  Whether you want to take the family or are looking for a getaway once the children are back in class, these four vacation packages are worth a look.   At Galeria...
Eight bodies - two dismembered - found in streets of Cancun, Mexican officials say

Eight bodies - two dismembered - found in streets of Cancun, Mexican officials say

Officials in Mexico said Tuesday that they discovered eight bodies in multiple locations across Cancun, a popular beach resort city - and magnet for American tourists - on the Yucatan Peninsula.  At least one victim had been bound before being shot, while another was apparently killed while lying in a hammock, the Associated Press reported. Others victims were dumped on the streets, dismembered...
What to do in Fargo, N.D.

What to do in Fargo, N.D.

Forget "Fargo."  Don't get me wrong - I loved the Coen brothers' dark crime comedy. But 22 years later, if you're still thinking only about the movie when you hear that word, it's time to rewire your brain. I'm here to tell you that this North Dakota city is not a godforsaken frozen wasteland of woodchippers. Fargo's a slice of Oz on the eastern edge of the Great Plains - quirky, colorful...
Water and wine make a perfect pairing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Water and wine make a perfect pairing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Standing at the bow of a little rowboat and chatting with my two companions, I realize I’m not just fly-fishing Oregon’s famed McKenzie River, I’m also a student in a floating master class on how chance geologic events made this valley about perfect for two things: growing grapes to make world-class wines, and sustaining some of the country’s loveliest wild trout. True, my...
Norwegian’s new Bliss offers more, or less

Norwegian’s new Bliss offers more, or less

Is it possible to get away from a crowd of 4,004 passengers and 1,716 crew aboard a 994-foot cruise ship? A cruise ship that boasts the longest (at 1,000 feet) electric go-kart race track at sea? A veritable sea-going resort with an open-air laser tag course, themed as an abandoned space station. An Aqua Park with two pools and two multistory water slides (one of which includes a free-fall followed...
10 travel writers, 10 favorite hotels

10 travel writers, 10 favorite hotels

What makes a hotel your favorite? The favorite? Every traveler has a different criteria: some love grand properties with opulent décor, while others prefer small places with a personal touch. The service, the food, the rooms and the setting usually figure in too.  If you’re lucky, you’ve stayed at a handful of hotels that you consider to be exceptional. They’re the sort...

Talk Travel: Is reserving seats on a flight worth the extra cost?

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: My son and his husband have flights booked from Washington to Paris. They would like to sit together but we've heard so much recently about reserved seats not even being honored. In your opinion, is it still worth the extra cost to reserve their seats...
10 urban sanctuaries well worth a visit

10 urban sanctuaries well worth a visit

A foray into the heart of a city can be made all the more memorable and enjoyable with a visit to a public park. In addition to providing restful green spaces for a picnic or a stroll, most of the nation’s metropolitan parks offer an extraordinary array of recreational opportunities and cultural sites. In many instances they stand out among the city’s top attractions. Here’s 10 U...
Your child’s dream of space travel is here

Your child’s dream of space travel is here

We have all imagined what it might be like to go into space, to land on Mars, to be an astronaut. Now at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida you and your family can live it. Learning about science and space is important, but experiencing the trials and actively participating in simulations of life on another planet gives education a whole new perspective. There are two parts to the...
Enjoying nature indoors at Florida’s Gaylord Palms

Enjoying nature indoors at Florida’s Gaylord Palms

ORLANDO, Fla. — A person would have a hard time visiting Key West, the Everglades and St. Augustine all in the same day. Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee allows you to do just that, but with a lot less driving. Well, you can’t actually visit those places, but you can enjoy the resort’s 4.5 acres of indoor atrium space, which is modeled after those three environments. At Gaylord...
Tourism booms in a 'socialist hellhole': Denmark

Tourism booms in a 'socialist hellhole': Denmark

A country that was recently the target of a Fox Business monologue on the evils of socialism has become a magnet for tourists.  Denmark is set to welcome a record number of travelers this year. Its life philosophy of "hygge" comfort, a world-famous foodie scene and a wildly popular Nordic noir film industry are among attractions luring tourists. The Danish Chamber of Commerce estimates...

United tests lie-flat seats for longest US routes

United Continental Holdings is experimenting with lie-flat seats for its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 10 jets, which the airline plans to fly on its longest domestic routes.  The No. 3 U.S. carrier is working on seat designs and has completed an initial round of testing on one model, President Scott Kirby said. Tests on a second seat are slated for this fall.   United plans to use the Max...
Murders in paradise threaten Costa Rica's main source of income

Murders in paradise threaten Costa Rica's main source of income

The deaths of two foreign visitors amid a growing crime wave has left Costa Rica fearing for its tourism-dependent economy.  The reputation of the most-visited Central American country took a hit earlier in the month when two female foreign visitors were killed in the span of two days and a third was reportedly raped a week later. The crimes took place near the Tortuguero National Park, where...
Keeping families together on the plane without going broke

Keeping families together on the plane without going broke

Little has changed in the two years since Congress prodded airlines to seat children 13 and younger next to an adult family member at no extra cost.  The reason: The Trump administration has declined to draft new rules detailing how airlines should apply the new law. That means that kids, in some cases, are still being separated from their parents while other families are paying more —...
Cliff house: Unique Swiss restaurant looks for new tenants

Cliff house: Unique Swiss restaurant looks for new tenants

BERLIN (AP) — One of Switzerland's most picturesque restaurants will soon be looking for a new operator.  The Gasthaus Aescher, built into a cliff above a valley in northeastern Switzerland, has been run by the same family since 1987. It gained recognition outside the Alpine nation when it was featured on the cover of a National Geographic book of "destinations of a lifetime"...
The murals on Belfast's 'peace walls' offer an illustrated history of the Troubles

The murals on Belfast's 'peace walls' offer an illustrated history of the Troubles

In a quiet cul-de-sac, I stand in front of modest brick houses while a woman pushes a pram and two workmen fix a garden gate. The serenity makes it easy to overlook that I am standing on the front lines of what, just two decades ago, was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. If I look closer, the signs are there - as are indicators of a more peaceable present.  I am in Belfast, just...

Tourists go off beaten path on North Korea's sacred volcano

MOUNT PAEKTU, North Korea (AP) — Foreign tourists looking to go off the beaten path in North Korea can now camp out on the country's biggest volcano.  Hoping to open up a side of North Korea rarely seen by outsiders, a New Zealander who has extensive experience climbing the mountains of North and South Korea is leading the first group of foreign tourists allowed to trek off road and camp...
Future of Airbus megaplane, once assured, is now shaky

Future of Airbus megaplane, once assured, is now shaky

It was designed to become the grande dame of aviation, an enormous modern plane that could seat 544 passengers - 853 if you squeezed people in - on two decks, replacing the venerable Boeing 747 with a new standard of luxury in flight.  Just 11 years later - almost a nanosecond in the life of a commercial airplane - two Airbus 380s can't find a home and are about to be broken up and sold for parts...
Beyond porridge and boiled mutton: A taste of London

Beyond porridge and boiled mutton: A taste of London

As Britain — like its younger sibling across the pond — gruffly proclaims its distance from the outside world (at least for the political moment), we can all be thankful that Brexit came too late to halt the culinary globalization of London.  Put ideology aside. This otherwise noble capital inclining its palate to devotees of porridge and boiled mutton was never a thing to celebrate...
Travel dilemmas: Is Cuba worth this price?

Travel dilemmas: Is Cuba worth this price?

Cuba sings a siren song for those who long to see it before it’s spoiled. These days, it’s easier to travel there than it was in, say, 2014.  The Treasury Department regulations you must comply with today are less onerous than in times past, but these days, you still can’t go to Cuba for the fun of it. At least, not legally.   You couldn’t spend your days lolling...
New US Civil Rights Trail leads to a little-known Virginia museum

New US Civil Rights Trail leads to a little-known Virginia museum

It lacks the renown of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, but Robert Russa Moton High School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, played a seminal role in the course of America's human events. And now the site is getting its due - as part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail launched this year.  The trail comprises more than 100 locations in 14 states. Some are well-known, such as the Edmund Pettus Bridge...

After deaths of American cyclists, is traveling to Tajikistan safe?

On July 29, five terrorists in Tajikistan rammed a car into a group of seven Western cyclists, then set upon them with knives. Four of the cyclists were killed: two from the United States, one from Switzerland and one from the Netherlands.  The Islamic State asserted responsibility for the attack, although Tajik authorities are pointing the finger at a banned political party, the Islamic Renaissance...
Five places to go in Nuuk, Greenland

Five places to go in Nuuk, Greenland

For most travelers to Greenland, the capital city of Nuuk, like the rest of the country, brings to mind the northern lights, dog sledding, whale watching and treks to dramatic glaciers and fjords. The city has been viewed largely as just a stopover on the way to the Greenland ice sheet. But lately, this small city of about 16,000 people has blossomed with a newfound energy and multiple creative ventures...

New York-style steakhouses are storming Tokyo

America is in the midst of an increasingly intense love affair with Japanese beef. Witness Don Wagyu, the new shop in downtown New York devoted exclusively to Japanese beef sandwiches that start at $28. The counter sells around 150 a day, including an average of eight $180 Ozaki "sandos."  But while Japanese diners have enthusiastically embraced Shake Shack, which has grown to nine...
Travel Roundup: Exploring the dunes and denizens of Namibia

Travel Roundup: Exploring the dunes and denizens of Namibia

Namibia is probably best known for its huge, brilliantly colored sand dunes. For those attracted to Africa’s famed wildlife it would seem a less likely destination than East Africa and the Serengeti. Yet it’s a place that’s home to elephants that have adapted to the desert as well as zebra, giraffe, various antelope, ostrich, lion, cheetah and leopard. Adventure Life offers a 14-day/13-night...

Daring to venture out — by water taxi — during Boston layover

On our way to Nantucket, my travel companion and I found ourselves with a four-hour-plus layover in Boston. Naturally, I asked the JetBlue agents at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport if we had enough time to zip into the city for lunch.  The Twin Cities agents were unsure. Upon overhearing the conversation, a Boston native jumped in to warn me that traffic to and from Logan International can be...
There’s always room at the inn for new hotel concepts

There’s always room at the inn for new hotel concepts

Not just any bar in New York City will offer you corn nuts in a coupe de Champagne that took six artisans to craft from fine crystal. But that is how things are done in the Bar at Baccarat Hotel. With its prismatic glass facade and 114 light-filled suites (Champagne on speed dial, flutes at the ready), the entire property was created as a 21st-century embodiment of a French crystal brand founded circa...
São Paulo's restaurant scene is booming. Here's where to eat now

São Paulo's restaurant scene is booming. Here's where to eat now

All the qualities that make São Paulo Brazil's art hub pop - its sophistication, experimentation, and international and local mix - can be applied to its food scene. Take Futuro Refeitório (Cafeteria of the Future), an ambitious new restaurant with an open kitchen and neon signage inside a former parking garage. Depending on when you go, the place functions as a bakery, coffee roaster...

These are the best frequent flyer programs

Roughly half of the people who belong to a U.S. airline loyalty program don't understand how it works.  We're not just talking about people who fly a few times a year. A J.D. Power study published Wednesday revealed that almost one-third of those who travel enough to gain status (silver, gold, platinum, etc.) may be unable to explain how they got it.   Among loyalty program members...

Travel deals: Sale fare to Hong Kong and two-for-one Broadway tickets

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - The Harbor Court San Francisco, near the Embarcadero Waterfront, is offering 50 percent off a third night to celebrate its recent renovation. With the "Get Into Bed With Us" package, book a Friday and Saturday night at the regular rate and receive half off the Sunday night rate. Nightly rates start at $152, plus $75 in taxes; the...
How to enjoy a ski destination when it’s not ski season

How to enjoy a ski destination when it’s not ski season

Visits to ski resorts in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming shouldn’t be confined to winter. Pamela Lenci, general manager of Caldera House, a new hotel in Jackson, Wyoming, said that these areas offer plenty of diversions in the summer and fall, as well.  “You can have just as much fun without hitting the slopes,” she said.   Ski resorts are a hiker’s haven, according...

From TripAdvisor, a program to help refugees get to know the U.S.

TripAdvisor wants refugees to the United States to explore and get to know their new homeland, and the hospitality company’s yearlong Welcome Home campaign aims to do just that: Launched last month, Welcome Home gives recently resettled refugees in New York City and parts of Northern California the opportunity to book a tour or activity of their choice through TripAdvisor Experiences, a category...
How dirty are the hot springs in Colorado?

How dirty are the hot springs in Colorado?

COLORADO, Colo. — Visiting hot springs seems to be a growing trend in Colorado — whether it’s a spa-style hot spring with a booze-filled concession stand or one that means an 8-mile hike over rugged terrain. While everyone is so eager to hop in the relaxing pools, few people seem to question whether or not they’re sanitary. Here’s a look at how hot springs work and whether...

Creede: Inside Colorado’s ‘LAST Great Place’

Bill Dooley and his seven classmates had to memorize a poem in high school.  “It’s day all day in the day-time,” goes the famous line. “And there is no night in Creede.”   That was written by Cy Warman, who arrived at Colorado’s silver boom town in 1892, when indeed it seemed the sun would always shine on “a land where men make millions,&rdquo...
Flying with dietary restrictions? Increasingly, that’s not a problem

Flying with dietary restrictions? Increasingly, that’s not a problem

When it was time for dinner on my July flight from Lisbon to New York, a flight attendant brought me my special-request gluten-free meal.  I was found to have celiac disease almost three years ago, and this sort of request for what airlines describe as a special meal — in this case, steamed sea bass with vegetables, gluten-free bread and fruit salad — has been a constant on my frequent...
What John Prine can’t travel without

What John Prine can’t travel without

Singer-songwriter John Prine has been playing his distinctive country-folk music on the road for nearly 50 years.  He is currently touring in support of his newest album, “The Tree of Forgiveness.”  Prine and his wife, Fiona, are based in Nashville, Tennessee, but they spend much of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they do very little.  “Fiona is a beach...
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