Looking for a great MidCoast Maine waterfront hotel? We’d recommend the Craignair Inn on the Maine coast, ideally located on the St. George peninsula, historic, cozy, secluded and yet so close to great sights.
Looking for a great MidCoast Maine waterfront hotel? We’d recommend the Craignair Inn on the Maine coast, ideally located on the St. George peninsula, historic, cozy, secluded and yet so close to great sights.
Hartstone Inn’s new Electric Daisy restaurant in Camden, Maine, offers creative, sustainable food that showcases local farms and foods. Plus, many of Chef Dustin Shockley’s dishes include the Szechuan pepper flower called “electric daisy” for an extra tongue-tingling delight. Subscriber Club members get an insider bonus recipe.
Bright lights and curtains that don’t close in hotel rooms are irritating. My bag full of tricks to help me sleep includes hangers, pillows, and duct tape to solve the issue annoying light issue to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Therese Iknoian’s “Stargazing for Centuries” night photo of a moai on Easter Island earned a 3rd in the 2023 Minimalist Photography Awards, night category, amid hundreds of entries.
Women’s pants with pockets are mandatory for travel. Who wants to always carry a purse or pack? Unfortunately, great women’s travel pants with pockets aren’t easy to find – I know because I’ve tried dozens of brands in my ongoing quest for the best travel pants. Here are some of my current favorite brands.
Dresden Germany prides itself on its Christmas markets, holiday cheer, bright lights, and festive spirit. And well it should as the Striezelmarkt is thought to be the oldest Christmas market in the world. These are eight of what we think are the best Dresden Christmas markets to help you plan your European Christmas market visits.
Packing light is essential for today’s travel – and it’s not that hard with modern fabrics. Here are 10 easy packing tips to help you pack lighter, which will make your travel adventures that much better.
There are so many things to do in Dresden, a weekend is hardly enough. Food, wine, river views, art galleries, WWII history, and architecture, Dresden should be a must-visit for anyone traveling to Germany.
Funiculars are cable mountain railways, originally built to help people get up and down steep slopes. Find out more about some of the world’s best funiculars in this guide.
Travel photography doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Sometimes the true soul of a place comes alive after dark. Enjoying and exploring the night skies when traveling is a challenge and a joy, allowing a night photographer to return with truly memorable images.
Looking for the best place to stay in Mendocino? Take a look at our guide to the Northern California coast. We help you get to know Mendocino County’s 90 miles of coastline and 20 towns that offer a huge variety of climates, personality, and travel experiences so you end up in the best place to stay.
Whoever thought an oft-overlooked city like Basel Switzerland could be jammed with so much jaw-dropping modern architecture? Angles, curves, crazy lines, modernist, and art nouveau, the styles are all-encompassing and will not leave architecture fans visiting Basel wanting.
If you are swimming in lemons during harvest, the question arises: What to do with so many lemons? What I call my “French Lemon Cake” comes to the rescue. I enjoyed this cake in France, but had to develop the recipe myself, of course using lots of juice and lemon zest.
Photography is my passion. But I also have something called Reynaud’s that makes me more susceptible to the cold, especially my hands. So I had to come up with ways to keep my hands warm for cold weather photography. Here are my DIY tips to keep shooting and staying warm, too.
Little did I know that a last-minute trip to Kyiv and Ukraine in early 2020 would be followed by a pandemic and then a horrific war, effectively closing the borders of the country I hoped to return to. View photos of this beautiful Ukrainian city – Kyiv before the war.
A day at Jungfraujoch and the Top of Europe is an unrivaled adventure. Take in sweeping Alpine vistas after traveling there on the new, super fast Eiger Express gondola and the old, quaint 110-year-old cogwheel train.
Just a skip southeast of Raleigh, the things to do in Johnston County North Carolina are numerous. Tour Civil War history, visit local farms, learn about native daughter Ava Gardner, explore local woods and parks, or just hang out and relax. And don’t forget the delicious barbecue, red hot dogs, and whiskey.
Basel is a very bike-friendly city. We took an e-bike tour through forests, along rivers, on city roads and bike paths, and in and out of three countries. Plan your own Basel bike tour in Switzerland’s three-country triangle.
Christmas markets in Germany offer warmth and good cheer during the holiday season. Dreaming of visiting some of the best Christmas markets in Germany on a winter holiday? Here are a few of the top ones to add to your travel list.
Germany’s capital city of Berlin is not lacking in high places for great views of the Berlin skyline. 17 places top our ultimate list of scenic Berlin views for you to enjoy.
Consistently ranked as a top place to live and work, Raleigh exudes a Southern charm topped with a cool factor and infused with culture, arts, diversity, and openness. When it comes to Southern cities, you should visit Raleigh now.
The caricature of that loud, garishly dressed American traveler in a different country may be funny, but you do not want to be that traveler. Here are a few easy tips on how to be a good traveler in most European countries.
Racing along Interstate 95 in North Carolina, you cut right through Johnston County, southeast of Raleigh. This is not just a gas and bathroom stop: Get ready for award-winning BBQ, one awesome local distillery and, yes, the home of North Carolina’s famous red hot dogs.
The Outer Banks barrier islands off the mainland of North Carolina remain a dangerous sliver of land for seafarers. These five historic lighthouses have guided ships safely for 150-200 years. Get inspired with these photos for your own lighthouse tour.
Potsdam Palace Night lets you stay out late with your friends in Park Sanssouci enjoying artists, illuminations, food, and drink – sans curfew – just fun in the dark at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A Wall of Remembrance was added in July 2022 at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. Therese was there to honor the memory of her uncle Capt. Ara Mooradian, USAF, MIA, at the family ceremony prior to the public dedication. She took that moment to explore her own relationship to her uncle and his memory.
Traveling through Nevada there are a lot of very weird things to see, do and experience. It is a weird state that touts its weirdness with pride. Discover weird Nevada with me as I show you a few odd things you too will want to discover.
Foodies on a California road trip don’t have to hunger for great eats along Highway 99. Stop into Modesto to discover a growing, creative, global scene for delicious food and drink in the Central Valley.
During the pandemic, I discovered a passion for road trips – and discovered that packing for a road trip meant adding accessories for my travels that keep me organized, fed, safe and very happy on the road.
Yolo County wines are an insider secret, hidden in plain view just west of Sacramento in the California wine country. Discover a rural atmosphere and tasty, award-winning wines with a howdy kind of welcome.
Photographing the Milky Way is an art, but one that will reap great rewards and satisfaction for you. Read these basic night photo tips for gear, accessories, and settings to get you started.
Nestling into the Henri Hotel in Hamburg, Germany, just feels warm and cozy. The Henri Hotel is truly one of the best boutique hotels in Hamburg – casual luxury with a touch of attitude and humor.
Visiting Maine like a local means more than art galleries or brewery hopping. Head to coastlines, blueberry farms, and lighthouses while experiencing the tastes, smells and sounds of Maine.
Don’t miss a side trip to Rhyolite ghost town in Nevada on a road trip that takes in Death Valley National Park. No tourist haven, just an authentic decaying ghost town. Visit the spooky Goldwell Open Air Museum with its otherworldly sculptures.
Bath Maine has an authentic heart and soul, from a cute downtown to a working waterfront – plus the amazing Middle Street Inn, a small Bath Maine inn that is intimate, charming, serene, and oh so friendly.
A truly dark sky can bring out the brilliance of the stars, moon, and Milky Way. But you must get out of urban areas to find dark skies for breathtaking stargazing. Find the best places with our guide to Dark Sky tourism.
Traveling internationally when vaccinated requires forms, tests, research about countries’ requirements and a lot of flexibility. Here are our tips for traveling during Covid from our personal experience.
San Francisco’s InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is a must-see in the city. Whether you stay in its historic luxury, take in views from the Top of The Mark sky bar, or just enjoy the Mark Hopkins’ history exhibits, travelers to San Francisco should make the trek to Nob Hill.
It is too easy to get stuck in a grind, in a life that sucks you into a day-to-day routine that leads to being unfit and unhealthy. But, if you make travel important, travel can be your lifesaver, leading you to a fresh start or exposing you to a mind-opening experience that affects you deeply and changes your life forever. Transformative travel is life-changing.
How to pack for a photo safari becomes a big question when preparing for your African safari. It’s not really as difficult as you think to travel with your photography gear and then carry it once in Africa. Our photo safari packing tips for camera gear will explain how.
Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge is a thrill any traveler to the California city by the bay can enjoy. A mostly bike flat ride along the water takes you across the iconic Golden Gate into Sausalito. Hop the Blue & Gold Ferry back into San Francisco after your bike tour.
Captain Nickel’s Inn had fallen into disrepair until mother and daughter innkeepers arrived in 2019 to revive its former historic glory. Nestled on a sprawling six-acre waterfront parcel, Victorian charm and room to roam await guests at this historic Maine inn.
A hot air balloon safari taking you high over the plains of the Maasai Mara in Kenya is a bucket list adventure. You will see animals and the landscape at sunrise in a way you never would otherwise.
Putting together a packing list for a safari in Africa starts months in advance. Here are a few expert tips to help you begin packing for a safari in Africa.
Camano Island may be a stone’s throw from the mainland and just across the water from its sister island Whidbey, but when you visit Camano Island Washington, you will find a relaxed outdoorsy island feel.
Looking for a luxury bed-and-breakfast escape on Camano Island? Then look no further than the charming Sea Mist Waterfront Inn with amazing sunset water views that will set your bar high on what a relaxing getaway can be.
When the world came to a grinding halt in March 2020, the days began to melt one into the other. Until I discovered the joy of a solo road trip. This is the story of solo car travel as transformative travel and how it opened my mind and soul.
Lighthouses are a key part of any visit to Maine, with 65 up and down the long coastline. Find out more about six of the best MidCoast Maine lighthouses in this photo tour as you plan your own visit, or just want to enjoy these Maine lighthouses from afar.
Picturesque Whidbey Island Washington offers a great getaway, either as a day trip from the bustle of Seattle or, even better, as a visit of several days to enjoy the restaurants, wineries, outdoor parks, and beaches. Visit Whidbey Island for a nearby “island escape.”
The Presidio of San Francisco was once a military base and is now a 1,500-acre urban park. The Presidio is now a major recreation destination with miles of hiking trails, bike routes, and numerous scenic overlooks. Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach and numerous historic buildings housing restaurants, businesses and museums make a visit to the Presidio a must.
When visiting San Francisco, go for historic charm in one of the best San Francisco boutique hotels. The Cornell Hotel de France is a centrally located gem of a Nob Hill Hotel that will transport you to France with its whimsical paintings and charming French décor.
Pier 39 remains one of the top San Francisco attractions, from the barking sea lions on a back dock to family-run restaurants with some of the best San Francisco waterfront views. Step into a number of the Pier 39 restaurants and enjoy excellent dining with an unbeatable sunset view.
Yolo County has some of the best sunflower fields in California – and early summer is the best time to see Yolo County sunflowers. Our viewing and experiencing guide will help you respectfully enjoy these sunflower fields on a summer tour.
POPOS may sound like a funny name for something you’d munch on during happy hour, but that is so wrong. POPOS stands for “Privately Owned Public Open Spaces,” a.k.a. San Francisco secret gardens, urban parks, and city open spaces. Whether you as a traveler call them POPOS, secret gardens, or rooftop parks, they are ideal respites and secluded open spaces when wandering and touring cities for anyone who just needs to rest weary feet or simply take in the surroundings or do a little people-watching – for free, and often in a really pleasant venue.
California’s desert mecca of Palm Springs is a modernism architecture lovers delight. Be it during its annual Modernism Week or on your own modernist architecture tours, you will not be disappointed by the sweeping, clean lines of Palm Springs modernism buildings.
With air travel slowly returning, preparing for, getting to the airport, and then flying safely again is a concern for many, even savvy travelers. Here are some tips on how to travel safely again and reminders on preparing for travel basics.
After being freed from slavery, some former slaves went on to establish all-Black towns around the country. In California, the only “Freedmen’s Town” founded and governed by African Americans was Allensworth in the state’s Central Valley, now a California State Historic Park worth a visit.
Every two years, Desert X coordinates an outdoor art exhibit like none other. Huge, thought-provoking art statements dot the desert and cities around Greater Palm Springs in Coachella Valley, complementing all the other outdoor art in the area.
The Coastal Maine area may be only a tiny slice of a small state but the things to do in MidCoast Maine could fill a book. From getting outdoors to eating lobster or slurping ice cream, and visiting historic lighthouses, all the typical Maine activities await you.
There is nothing quite like a Mendocino Coast road trip in Northern California. Think picturesque villages, stunning coastline, deep redwood forests, outdoor adventure galore, gourmet food, amazing wineries, lots of history and plenty of art galleries.
No road trip to Mendocino County is complete without sipping a few of the best Anderson Valley wines. From casual newcomers to expansive long timers, here are a few down-to-earth Anderson Valley wineries you must visit on your next California road trip.
Cooking up the best authentic Cajun gumbo is not hard, but it does require a few pointers. Spuddy Faucheux at Cajun Cooking Experience near New Orleans shared his world of cooking with us in a personal Cajun cooking class. Now, we’re sharing the cooking experience and his authentic chicken and sausage gumbo recipe with you.
Since COVID-19 is likely going to be around for a while, even after vaccinations, safe road trips may be the best answer to see new places. With our road trip safety essentials list, you can avoid relying on restaurants and make less frequent trips to stores so you can focus on having fun and traveling well.
Packing luggage for travel can be stressful. But no matter what the adventure, there are some travel essentials that are always in our luggage or carry on. Find out what these must-have travel items are to help you decide what to pack for your next travel adventure.
Nothing is cozier or more warming than a mug of hot German mulled wine, known in Germany as Glühwein. Popular at traditional German Christmas markets you can buy it premixed outside of Germany, but if you want true depth of flavor and fresh spices, follow my Glühwein recipe to make the best mulled wine you’ve ever had.
Located just south of Reno in the Carson Valley, and tucked up against the Eastern Sierra Nevada on US 395 in Nevada, historic Genoa is worth even a brief stopover. Dating back to 1850, the quaint village promises history, hikes and great food and drinks.
An historic Gold Country California hotel, the Holbrooke Hotel has been the grande dame on Main Street for nearly 170 years. After a meticulous renovation, the Grass Valley hotel now exudes simple elegance with its historic charm for a truly top-notch experience.
If Mendocino is on your Northern California road trip itinerary, then who could ask for a better place to stay than the Brewery Gulch Inn. Arguably one of the best Mendocino hotels with an ocean view, Brewery Gulch Inn offers simple, casual elegance, in a peaceful setting.
Making the best limoncello isn’t that hard. Our delicious limoncello recipe has easy to follow insider tips to create a drink that is not too sweet and has the taste of Italy. WAY better than store bought!
If you want a luxurious, yet laid-back hotel in Boothbay Harbor Maine, then head straight to historic, romantic Topside Inn. Set at the highest point in town, you also get great ocean views from your deck, the lawn, or your window on your visit to Boothbay Harbor.
What does apocalypse look like? To see what Chernobyl looks like today, I visited the Chernobyl disaster zone in early 2020, nearly 34 years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine exploded. The disaster forced tens of thousands to leave their homes, many more to perish from radiation exposure, and countless others to suffer from disease.
In California Gold Country you can follow in the footsteps of Gold Rush pioneers, try your hand at gold panning, enjoy cute little towns, get outdoors, and eat at amazing restaurants. We’ll help you plan a road trip to Grass Valley, Nevada City, Placer County, Auburn, and Placerville.
Explore MidCoast Maine on a coastal Maine road trip. Sit in a classic Adirondack chair and enjoy coastal breezes, eat fresh lobster while taking in ocean views, visit with local craftsmen, and explore back roads winding through quaint Maine towns. Our MidCoast Maine travel planner will help you organize your vacation.
Your search for a cozy centrally located Maine hotel can stop with The Bradley Inn. Located a couple of minutes from the scenic Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, The Bradley Inn offers comfy rooms on a family-run garden oasis, as well as great Maine food at its MidCoast Maine location.
What is a shrub? It is a flexible, creative infusion of fruit, herbs, or even vegetables mixed with sugar and vinegar that can be added to alcohol or soda water. But you can do so much more with it once you know how to make a shrub. A perfect drink recipe for history and travel buffs.
For the best Maine souvenirs or travel gifts think Maine Made products. You can find them across the state, from art and food, to woodworking and décor. Check out the authentic wind bells we love, gifts made by Maine State prisoners, and more.
Maneuvering airports and airplanes is now a riskier activity with coronavirus and the inability to minimize contact. So, when you start flying again, the question will be how to fly safely. That will mean taking extra precautions to stay healthy while flying and at the airport.
What was it like flying during a pandemic? Is it safe to fly? I took a transcontinental flight on American in July and, in short, it was terribly stressful.
The goal at Whitney Plantation Museum in Plantation Country near New Orleans is “to tell the truth.” Whitney is the only plantation that actually tells the true story of slavery and focuses on the lives of the enslaved rather than the lives of the rich owners or a shared tale.
Located along Highway 99 in the Central Valley, Fresno doesn’t immediately grab you as a place worth spending much more than a night. But appearances can be deceiving. There are quite a few historical, cultural and culinary gems waiting to be explored in California’s fifth-largest city. Read on to know what to do in Fresno.
Traveling enthusiasts often look many miles from their own home and regions to find travel adventures. But great travel opportunities exist right around the corner, too, close to home. It is time to expand our definition of travel and embrace staycation travel to explore your own city, county and state.
Travel photography is a skill that takes a little focused diligence – but one that will come in handy for taking better photos on your next vacation. Learning night photography takes you and your photography skills to another plane – one that teaches you a bit about yourself and your camera too.
Traveling to tour the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is on a lot of travel bucket lists these days. That’s where the nuclear plant exploded in 1986. I had the chance to visit Kyiv and the Chernobyl area in Ukraine on a winter photography trip.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing how to travel safely is more important than ever. Learn more about 5 essential things to pack to travel safely so you can protect yourself from getting sick during flights, hotels and visits to tourist sights.
Sometimes you get better photos when traveling if those around you don’t know you are taking a shot. That’s why learning how to shoot from the hip is key in travel photography. Here are a few tips to help you get the hang of it.
The Mauthausen Memorial in Austria offers a sobering look at Nazi terror during World War II. The former Mauthausen concentration camp, located not far from the Danube River, was one of the Nazis most notorious camps. It is estimated that of the 190,000 prisoners held at Mauthausen during the seven years the camp operated, at least 90,000 died.
Whether served hot in the winter or cold in summer, this Ukrainian-style ginger tea recipe with lemon, mint and cloves is sure to make you smile. Subscriber Club members can download the ginger tea recipe for free.
Little Charlie wasn’t only a musician to me. He was a buddy, somebody with whom I had shared a passion for languages and travel. Most knew Charles Baty as an internationally renowned blues and jazz musician. He passed away on March 6, 2020. I will miss my buddy Charlie forever.
Virtual travel experiences are available all around the globe. It is possible to travel virtually from home for planning or pure enjoyment. We’ve assembled a comprehensive guide to the best virtual tours around the world, including museums, art exhibits, live concerts and theaters, national park tours, street art tours and virtual tours of various cultural destinations and sights.
You are stuck at home because of coronavirus stay-at-home requirements from governments and health agencies. Looking for things to do? This is your ultimate stay-at-home travel itinerary … where every day will be the same and only your imagination will limit your travel adventures. Tongue planted fully in cheek!
The coronavirus upended the entire travel world seemingly in days. Hurrying out of Berlin, I felt like an evacuee – not that I really know what that feels like – but here I was being forced to leave somewhere I didn’t want to. I felt like Pac-Man scurrying away from the hungry ghost called COVID-19.
In the hills above Imlil, where there once were kasbah ruins, you find a grand mountain retreat called Kasbah du Toubkal hotel, carefully curated to maintain its historic flavor and local connection with an emphasis on sustainable operations. But Kasbah du Toubkal is much more than a glorious historic hotel on a hilltop. Read on to learn why you WILL want to stay here on your next Morocco visit.
Ostannya Barykada restaurant, also known as the Last Barricade restaurant, is a hidden secret worth discovering in Kyiv. It is not just a restaurant with historic décor and astounding, creative, all-Ukrainian food and drink. Think of Ostannya Barykada as a gastronomic space in a museum that gives a huge bear hug to the essence of Ukraine.
Until I cooked and then tasted the best Moroccan couscous during a visit to Fes, I had no idea how bad my couscous was. During a casual cooking class at Riad Laaroussa in Fes, Morocco, with the riad’s Queen of the Kitchen, Fatima, we learned to make Moroccan couscous the right way. We’ll show you how!
When you visit Kitzbuhel, look beyond the glitz and tourists with furs and diamonds, and you’ll discover the Kitzbuhel locals love so much. The real Kitzbuhel has gorgeous, soaring peaks, great trails, and everything picturesque, quaint and historic like the best Alpine villages you dream about.
Times have changed a lot over the years, especially when it comes to travel, travel preparation, and things we don’t do anymore when traveling: Postcards? How quaint. Paper lists of addressees? Ah, adorable and clumsy. Paper maps? Why when we have Google?
German Christmas market drinks, options and choices. Having a Gluhwein at a German Christmas market seems an easy choice: hot mulled red wine in mug. But do you want a shot with that? Or a different flavor? German Christmas market drinks have become big business. So many choices. We’ll help you decide and know how to ask for what you want.
Trying to figure out how to pick the best airplane seat with today’s sardine-like seating is a challenge. Here are our proven tips and tricks to being able to pick the best airplane seat no matter what flight you are booking.
Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters New Orleans style won me over. Know how to grill your own oysters with this recipe for Grilled Oysters from the official Louisiana Oyster Trail recipe book.
When wondering what to do in Northern California think Novato as your base. Here you will find less expensive lodging and convenient access to premier agritourism, great eats, outstanding wine, California history, outdoor adventures and even San Francisco.
When you need your java fix, nothing less that a perfect cup of coffee will do. But how do you get the coffee you want and like when traveling? Not so difficult if you pack the right travel coffee maker, gadget, bag or grounds to make sure you get your java, your way.
Berlin commemorated the fall of the Berlin Wall with a 30th anniversary celebration in 2019. We have complete Berlin Wall links and information for your next visit to Berlin.
Asilah Morocco is an oft-neglected coastal city that offers a quieter, less frenetic medina, plus a beach, fishing port, street art, and great sunsets too. Here are all the things to do in Asilah Morocco.
When you intend to spend time in the sensory-intense souk markets and medina of Fes Morocco, having a quiet, restful, clean escape is a must. Do not hesitate to select the Riad Laaroussa, the best luxury hotel in Fes.
Ultimate guide to the best shoes for travel. Pick the wrong travel shoe and you will be grumpy on your holiday. We know a thing or two about travel shoes, and are here to help you pick the best shoes for travel.
When travel goes wrong you are rarely as prepared as you’d like to be. I had made my way to Berlin two weeks before a long-planned photo trip to Morocco that I was beyond excited about. My plans were about to go sideways.
The trip from Madrid Spain to Tangier Morocco is not difficult and not that expensive, using the Spanish train system called Renfe and the ferry company called FRS. And you get to pass across the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow body of water that is the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic.
The Festival of Lights in Berlin and Berlin Leuchtet (Berlin Illuminated) provide a delightful bright diversion for anyone visiting Berlin in October. The two light festivals illuminate hundreds of Berlin buildings, parks, monuments and facades with dancing lights, often moving to music.
Are you a responsible traveler? Are you thinking about sustainable tourism when you travel? Sustainable tourism can also be called responsible travel or ethical tourism, and we will show you how to be sure your current and future travels are fun, respectful, ethical and sustainable.
You can’t choose your weather when you travel to Kitzbuhel or other mountain towns, but you can make the best of things by knowing rainy day options. Here are our tips for touring Kitzbuhel in the rain.
Frequent travelers use various tricks for not forgetting things in hotel rooms. Here are our favorite tips and hacks so you never forget anything in a hotel room again.
Botanical Nights in the Botanical Garden Berlin make visiting a botanical garden something full of mystery, magic, intrigue, musicians, lightshows and fun. Plants, trees, greenhouses and ponds come alive during Berlin’s Botanical Nights. The cover photo for this story was awarded a Gold Medal by the North American Travel Journalists Association for travel photography.
Wonderful, thin, “just-in-case” ThinOptics readers that don’t demand a second thought to take along on any adventure or just around town. Perfect for travel.
From amazing views of Manhattan (night and day), to historic memorials, beautifully developed waterfront walks, expansive parks, the best access to the Statue of Liberty, and really laid-back downtown areas with street art and pedestrian zones, there are so many things to do in New Jersey!
Munich is more than Oktoberfest, and we’ll tell you what the city offers: Englischer Garten, Marienplatz city square, museums, architectural gems, amazing food, and even surfing. Our ultimate Munich city guide will inspire you.
In June 2019, the Wakamatsu Farm celebrated its 150th anniversary in an event that also celebrated Japanese culture, traditions, arts, music, history and culture. The Wakamatsu Farm is well worth a visit anytime the American River Conservancy land trust offers tours.
Looking for things to do in Hamburg? Hamburg is one of the must-see destinations in Europe. Our Hamburg city guide highlights nightlife, the Elbphilharmonie, restaurants, and historic sites.
The Inn on Broadway bed and breakfast boutique hotel offers historic, charming accommodations smack in the middle of Rochester, New York.
International travel takes a fair amount of trip planning: visas, passport, airline tickets, hotels, car rentals & more. Our ultimate travel planner makes travel planning easier.
I was excited to stay at the retro-themed new TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in the former TWA Flight Center. I really was looking forward to the promised awesomeness. What I got was a night at a not-quite-ready TWA Hotel in room 666 – really.
Knowing and studying languages have helped me, both professionally and personally. Here are my 6 reasons for learning a new language with one being that learning a language opens your eyes to the world.
Every spring as the summer sun gets higher in the skies, the questions come up again about sunscreen safety, and the question is asked again, which is the best sunscreen for travel?
No matter whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, or any other holiday, gifts for the traveling mom, or any traveling woman, are a step above chocolates and flowers. Take a look at our gift guide for the best gifts for the traveling women.
The Repose in the Salé medina area, one of the best riads in Rabat, Morocco, blends Moroccan tradition with subtle nods to modern Western comforts with the result being a centrally located hotel with never-ending hospitality. Review updated January 6, 2020.
Fighting germs when you are traveling is an ongoing battle. Who wants to get sick and have to stay in a hotel room, or worse, end up in a hospital when traveling? That makes fighting germs (like the new coronavirus) No. 1 on your to-do list when traveling since you can’t avoid public places! Here are our top travel hacks for fighting germs in planes, trains, public bathrooms, hotel rooms, and more.
Is Morocco safe to travel in? Many people wonder. We talked with Open Doors Morocco to get traveling tips on travel safety in Morocco. Morocco is an African country with French roots, a conservative culture and Muslim religion, and it intrigues travelers with its culture and landscape certainly, but travelers still wonder about safety. We can tell you that Morocco is very safe if you travel smart. The cover photo won a Silver Medal from the North American Travel Journalists Association for travel photography.
We know a lot about medical travel insurance, travel safety, and how to be prepared for travel emergencies. You can’t wait until medical emergencies while traveling happen to figure out what to do. You need to know. We do and can help.
Air travel these days means being elbow-to-elbow with strangers, hundreds jammed into a chamber for hours on end, touching all the same surfaces. All that makes staying healthy after air travel so much more difficult. We know how to stay healthy though, and we’ll show you.
The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is renown as one of the top in the world. Meaning there are a lot of people turning out along the 1.3-mile route. Take a look at these spectator tips for the Chinese New Year Parade to have an even better experience.
The Harbor Court Hotel San Francisco, with its location across the street from the waterfront, a quarter-mile from the Ferry Building and steps from public transportation, is certainly worthy of our nod for being one of the best San Francisco hotels with a view.
Known in the United States as Mardi Gras (actually French for “Fat Tuesday), the traditions of excessive celebrations and outrageous carnival parades prior to the pre-Easter fasting during Lent date back many centuries in Europe. But you don’t have to head to the crowd-filled streets of big towns like Germany’s Cologne or Dusseldorf, France’s Nice, or Switzerland’s Basel to experience some great carnival parades in Europe. And you don’t even have to indulge in excess!
In the weeks leading up to Easter each year, cultures around the world celebrate with their own versions of Mardi Gras, also known as Fasching, Fasnacht, Carnival or Carnaval — and that means, of course, lots of carnival parades.
No visit to Berlin should be without a closer look at history – specifically the horrific history of East Germany’s former secret police, the Stasi. These Stasi sights in Berlin should find a place on your to-do list.
Everybody talks about how to pick the best travel shoes or pants or jackets, but what about that one item you will likely wear every single day for at least eight hours? I’m talking about the best travel pajamas or pjs or sleepwear.
The Arakur Resort is a spectacular hotel that overlooks the city of Ushuaia, Argentina, and specializes in comfort, quiet and pampering … which is exactly what you want after making your way to the southernmost tip of South America appropriately dubbed “the end of the world.”
As a part of the developing “Campus for Democracy” at the former headquarters of East Germany’s state security or Stasi in Berlin, an open-air exhibit details the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution Berlin that helped bring about German unity.
For more than three decades, the dreaded state police (Stasi) in East Germany kept reams of secret files on its citizens. As of 2018, the Stasi archives Berlin are now open for public tours.
Every time I hear somebody say what a struggle it is to take only one piece of luggage on a trip, I wince. Really, packing light is not hard, especially if you are packing light for summer travel. Packing so your luggage is lighter and smaller just takes a little change in mindset. Here are 10 easy packing tips.
Whether you are a history enthusiast, news and politics buff, or a student or fan of media and first-amendment rights, the Newseum is a must-go museum in Washington, D.C. Even though the spectacular Newseum is not free, it offers an insider look at all things news, current events, past history and First Amendment. There is something for everyone, not to mention great lessons for students visiting Washington, D.C.
When traveling, the last thing you want is a pounding migraine headache. But like it or not migraines and travel go together for a lot of reasons, including the emotional and physical stress of travel, dehydration, and lack of sleep. We have migraine traveling tips to help you be aware, be cautious, and be prepared.
The Stasi Museum Leipzig in “Runde Ecke,” or “round corner,” is where the Stasi had its headquarters in one of former East Germany’s important industrial cities. It is one of a number of Stasi museums and sights that are scattered across former East Germany.
After being open just a year, the Urban Nation Berlin street art museum re-opened with a reinvention that truly speaks to its roots. A new street art exhibit, redesigned interior with an authentic street feel, and a number of street artists residences make this museum in Berlin a must to visit for art lovers of all kinds.
Don’t miss the best hike and views in Carmel on the Monterey Peninsula of California – Palo Corona Regional Park. In the spring, wildflowers are thick and amazing. The rest of the year, Carmel’s Palo Corona Regional Park is just peaceful and spectacular.
Many hundreds died in the Hohenschönhausen Stasi memorial prison in Berlin during its operation, with several hundred thousand spending time there as prisoners over its 40+ years. You can only visit Hohenschönhausen with a guide, many of whom were former prisoners.
The Stasi Museum Berlin brings alive the terror lived by GDR’s residents for 41 years before the Berlin Wall fell. Inside the Stasi museum walls a visitor is reminded why the Stasi secret police force of former East Germany was one of the most feared agencies in Europe.
I arrived at my photography workshop eager and excited for learning while traveling, but also more than a bit nervous. “Why?” asked one of the instructors earlier when I mentioned that I was a bit anxious. “We don’t bite.” Transformative travel is a marvelous thing for learning.
Dutch Flat 4th of July celebration is a parade with water hijinks and loads of fun! Historic Dutch Flat in California boasts a population today of about 200 (“If everybody’s home,” a local adds) but the numbers swell on July 4 for good reason — the town is FUN!!!
If there is one thing I am keen on when traveling, it is a getting a good night’s sleep in a hotel. Over the years I’ve figured out a few traveling tips for sleeping better in hotels, like when making a hotel reservation, ask for what you want.
Northern California foothills are dotted with tiny California history museums, many telling the story of Gold Country settlers. What a beautiful surprise it was to stumble upon the Placer County Heritage Trail and free museums to visit all summer long from Roseville to Tahoe!
Over the years, we have enjoyed outstanding adventures along the first section of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai’s Napali Coast. Sadly, the trail and the adjoining Ke’e State Beach in Ha’ena State Park remain shut down after Spring 2018 floods.
When I hear friends tell horror stories about travel, I find myself wondering why some good people seem to frequently have bad experiences when traveling. Perhaps it is because they have not yet learned how to be a good traveler?
Chicago airport layovers are the pits – loud, people rushing, and no place comfortable to sit – unless you have our insider tips about what to do at Chicago airport.
Urban Nation museum showcases street art in Berlin is like no other, uniting not only the nation but also the world as it turns the German capital into a giant international open-air street art gallery. Opened in September 2017, Urban Nation is just the beginning of your tour for great street art.
Korean War Memorials are always on my list to visit when traveling. My Uncle Ara disappeared on Oct. 23, 1951, less than a year into the Korean War. A part of an air mission with nine Super Fortresses, his B-29 bomber was one of six attacked by Soviet MIGs.
Learning a language quickly for your travel destination can be truly helpful – gaining you respect and perhaps even a few favors from delighted locals. We’ve got some easy language learning tips to help.
The Prenzlauer Berg Wasserturm, an eye-catching round tower in the middle of Berlin, is for most simply a city park with a couple of nice-looking structures. If your timing is good, travelers can time-travel with area experts to the cisterns underground, plus learn more about Berlin’s water supply history.
The East-West Peace Church is hidden in a grove of trees in Munich’s busy Olympic Park. Most visitors will walk right past the little forest, but you should in fact make a beeline for the historic homestead.
The key to knowing how to stay warm in Antarctica is understanding how to combine the right fabrics and fit for apparel and outwear. Head to toe, the key is layering. Here are five simple tips to help you keep warm when it is very cold.
Not all museums are pretty, happy places. The NS Documentation Center in Munich takes a hard, sometimes painful, often horrifying look at the rise of Hitler’s National Socialist party (NS), the Nazi terror, and indeed how this relates to today’s world events.
Next time you are in Munich, be sure to plan a visit to the White Rose museum. Given the Nazi terror and influence in Munich during World War II, it is not surprising that the White Rose resistance group and the likes of Sophie Scholl came from the university in Munich.
It’s an eerie feeling to be told you need to wear shoes you can run in when you visit Panmunjom on a DMZ Tour Korea, just outside of Seoul. Go inside the Panmunjom Joint Security Area on our DMZ Tour. Hopefully, no running will be needed.
The diversity in the scenery in the Puna High Plateau of Argentina is astounding, making it a traveler’s and photographer’s bucket list destination. The Puna de Atacama or Atacama Plateau is an arid high plateau, stretching from northern Chile into Argentina with the Andes as a spectacular backdrop.
At a promontory on the Elbe River in Hamburg the glistening Elbphilharmonie concert hall is a distinct landmark in HafenCity since its opening in January 2017, becoming a Hamburg city icon in the process.
Your ticket is booked, your seat is selected, and you’re packing your bags for upcoming travels. But will you be flying in comfort? And we’re not talking getting an upgrade to premium class. Here are a few things we do and pack to help make flying and arriving more comfortable no matter what class you are flying.
Buenos Aires parks, gardens and green spaces allow you to feel as if you are in a huge, green, forested park and not a densely packed urban city. Here are five of the best parks and gardens in Buenos Aires.
Want to save money on your next trip on a German train? Follow our six simple travel tips to save money on train travel in Germany with Deutsche Bahn.
The soaring crags of Fitz Roy are renown for playing hide-and-seek with those who trek in Patagonia, due to swirling clouds from the region’s unpredictable weather. I was on a trek that would take me in the shadow of Fitz Roy’s magnificent 11,020-foot summit.
It was my first Christmas far away from home. I was 21 and an exchange student experiencing Christmas in Germany – with its Christmas traditions, markets, and more.
Trying to name the best of Patagonia for a short trip to that southernmost region in Argentina isn’t an easy task. The region covers a great expanse – nearly 2,300 miles north to south — with a diverse climate that takes you from sea level to Fitzroy.
No matter if you are traveling for business, to visit friends or family, or on a dream holiday, travel stress can take a physical and mental toll. Here are the tips we use to relieve travel stress whenever we are flying.
Street art can be found all over Argentina but street art in Salta has a long-standing tradition of producing some incredible pieces. Learn more in our photo diary.
The travel safety and the travel security gear you use should always be top of mind. We’re experts on travel safety and share the travel safety gear we use and rely on – including anti-theft bags and RFID wallets from Sea to Summit, Eagle Creek, Pacsafe, and more.
There is something spooky, breathtaking and awe-inspiring all at the same time about cemeteries around the world that offer fantastic, mythical, memorable architecture. Here are 4 must-see cemeteries on three continents: La Recoleta Cemetery (Cimenterio de la...
What bike touring essentials will you need to pack for the day in your bag? Start here and you’ll be good to go for your day on any bike tour.
As a traveler, navigating the maze of restaurants, foods, potential language differences can be a daunting task in Argentina. Taking a parrilla food tour in Buenos Aires can help. Choripan, empanada, parrilla, and helado head the tasty travel experience on a parrilla food tour.
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture is a tribute to not letting a dream die. On a visit to Washington, D.C., it remains a museum that is a must-see. But plan ahead to get tickets, and read up about the museum so you can make the most of your visit to its all-encompassing exhibits.
Eating and shopping in Germany can be confusing when you are trying to decipher unknown words, especially at meals. Our dining and shopping in Germany guide will help you feel more confident the next time you walking into a German market or German restaurant.
Don’t miss Jazz in the Garden: Annual free jazz concerts in the stupendous Sculpture Garden that is part of the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall. Free jazz concerts in Washington D.C.? Yes!
In this German Language Cheat Sheet for Travelers, we introduce you to a few basics words, sounds and phrases, as well as what to expect, see or hear. It is a perfect pocket language guide for travel in Germany.
Whether you have a fancy DSLR camera or a smartphone camera, these simple and time-tested travel photography tips remain essential to improving your travel photography and street photos.
A Nevada County favorite since 1987 The Draft Horse Classic, held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Northern California every September since 1987, is recognized as the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States among perhaps hundreds around the world.
When trying to pack for a bike tour, knowing what gear goes in your suitcase and what goes in your carry-on and day bag can get complicated. Our bike tour packing list with expert suggestions from bike touring veterans will help.
When your travels involve moving daily, unpacking and repacking can be a grind. Unless you have figured out key travel tips for daily packing and unpacking on tours…which we have and share with you.
The fruit grown in Croatia and the farmlands reminded me of my childhood. When I happened across this woman dressed in traditional garb sitting quietly at the side of the road beside her tray of drying figs, I had to stop.
If you are traveling to Europe, you need to know about the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may still (at the time of this writing, see below) enter Schengen countries without the need for a special visa for short-term tourism, business or if in transit to non-Schengen countries. But…
We have experienced coffee culture around Europe. And we’ve sampled the many various ways of serving the caffinated elixer, from nearly syrupy dark tablespoons of caffeine in doll-sized cups to huge bowls of espresso and frothy milk. It’s what you do as a traveler – enjoy a cup of local coffee as the locals enjoy it.
The Rocky Mountaineer train trips across Western Canada are spectacular. But getting in a walk or run on the Rocky Mountaineer stops is essential. We’ll give you tips on where to get in a quick bit of exercise that will leave you fit and smiling. And ready for that next amazing Rocky Mountaineer meal!
The Blessing of the Grapes Ceremony still takes place at Armenian churches all around the world in mid-August. For curious travelers, it remains a worthwhile tradition to visit and will feel as if you are in a different country.
The Underground Gardens tourist destination offers an intriguing tale for all ages that is well worth a stop. The Underground Gardens is what it sounds like: A weaving labyrinth of caverns, rooms and passages all dug underground and filled with fruit trees, vines and plants in spaces that open to the sky. This oddity was built – or shall we say, dug – by Italian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere for about 38 years starting in 1906.
Travel clothing needs to do a lot of things if it is going to make the cut into our suitcases for a trip. And the Dale of Norway Basic Sweater did all that and more. I tried the Dale of Norway sweater called “Basic Feminine,” but the same...
We were getting closer to our destination for the evening in Whistler and passing glorious high-mountain lakes. But instead of shooting up and out at the mountains, I decided to shoot down at the unimaginably beautiful cloud reflections.
The Rocky Mountaineer website is detailed and the staff helpful. However, it can still be a bit baffling to decide what route to take. Turns out the “most popular” one may not be the “best,” depending on your definition. And you also can “have it your way” with any Rocky Mountaineer luxury train vacation you choose. Just ask! We did – and we’re sharing a few Rocky Mountaineer tips to help you get the most out of your luxury train holiday in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.
On our entire trip through the Yunnan province in China, monks were irresistible subjects. Mostly they were quick to get out of the way of photos, and you had to be quick at stealing a snap. These two, though, were casually strolling down the street in Dali old town.
The Rocky Mountaineer train trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains is an adventure of a lifetime, remaining for many a bit of a luxury indulgence. Before you book your Rocky Mountaineer train trip, read our insider tips detailing which class of service is the best for you – gold, gold plus, or silver. Choices are so important in making the most of what for many is a bucket list item.
I was entranced by the light. Honningsvag is of course beautiful in a simple way, but mid-day in November in northern Norway the sun is already pretending to set. This time of year there is only twilight for a few hours mid-day. The light sparkles off the windows of the homes and paints the hills with a red glow.
Because we do fly a lot, and talk with so many other passengers and frequent travelers, we think it is worth pointing out there is another side to the story: Despite the avalanche of news regarding despicable behavior by some airline employees and by some passengers, there are always two sides. We would like to humbly point out that airline acts of kindness can and do happen, on an almost daily yet too often unreported manner.
Depending on who’s talking, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the second-most-visited site in the French city. And the world’s most-visited museum, with nearly 10 million people touring the grand halls in 2016 (although that number slides up and down a bit from different sources). This, for example, is where the Mona Lisa resides.
Growing up, my parents were keen on getting the family traveling to see as many places across the Western states (and beyond) they could afford – from national parks, to amazing cities, to monuments, coasts and caves. And they were also experts at saving money on travel…they had to be. I learned from them, and now, can share what they taught me plus a few more tips of my own to help you save money while traveling right now.
As the burgeoning and bustling capital of Germany, Berlin offers an addicting restaurant scene with any international or trendy cuisine you may desire. But in keeping with its gritty, artistic ways, Berlin has a superior street food market scene. We show you 5 great Berlin street food markets you won’t want to miss.
A beautiful stream of reflected light fell across the river from Old Sacramento and its lights. I was standing on the opposite side of the bridge from Old Town. Now, if only that goose would swim over into the right place….
It is the little things that often can add up when you are flying for vacation or business. From a bottle of water to change fees, here are a few tips on how to save money when flying.
Germany’s capital of Berlin offers every international food imaginable, in restaurants, street markets or, in the case of the most authentic Thai food in the city, spread across a park. Thai Wiese (Thai Park) comes alive every weekend with arguably the best Thai food in Berlin.
When thoughts start to turn to spring and flowers, the question arises, where to find wildflowers and perhaps butterflies and ladybugs too?
New Orleans isn’t just a Mardi Gras party town. Think jazz music everywhere you look! On street corners, in parks, on balconies and, of course, in clubs. Then there is the jazz highlight of the year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest in late April, a.k.a. just New Orleans Jazz Fest.
South Yuba River State Park’s Bridgeport wildflowers are fantastic in spring. Although anytime is a perfect time to visit the Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge and enjoy a guided walk.
When our student group passed through Moscow in 1984, St. Basil’s Cathedral was a spectacular sight, yes indeed. But brightly Disneyland-esque and just as polished as a Mouseketeer would have it? Hardly.
Once a renowned theater and movie palace in the 1920s and ’30s, the site of the Alhambra Theater represents a bit of lost history in Sacramento that is fun to find. We’ll show you where to look.
Carneval (a.k.a. Fasching, Mardi Gras, etc) is a time for debauchery in many locales where it is grandly celebrated. But in some small towns there are several days of parades, including ones just for kids – like this Swiss carnival parade I photographed.
Dr. Ho Shi Xiu turned himself into a Baisha Village destination. Dr. Ho, a legendary herbalist, welcomed visitors into his office until he passed away in late 2018. He was in his late 90s when he died.
Finding warm winter boots that are lightweight and packabe isn’t easy. So I was excited to find the Baffin Escalate warm winter boots.
The first time I visited Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., was when my Uncle Ara Mooradian, MIA in the Korean War, received a memorial service in 2004 with full military honors – horse-drawn caisson, soldiers on horses, 21-gun salute, Missing Man Formation, the whole deal. I have a tie to Arlington that may be different than many, but that doesn’t mean your visit to Arlington National Cemetery will be any less memorable.
We experienced 4 hours of blissful retreat at the Villagio Spa in Napa that was more about discovering a relaxing oasis than the bounty of wine and food of Napa Valley. Outdoor fireplace, steam shower, sauna, massage, outdoor soaking tub, and yes, not to worry, plenty of food and wine too.
Most tourists end up on the Shangri-la main square where the huge golden Prayer Wheel and glittering Golden temple sit. Amazing, yes. But I had been eyeing a small temple I could not quite make out on a low hill on the edge of town. “What is that?” I kept asking and never quite got a satisfactory reply. Michael and I headed up and out of town on our break, thinking we’d just explore a little bit. And what a fantastic temple it was.
No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, 2017 and beyond may mean U.S. citizens will need to take a few added precautions abroad to stay safe when traveling. But this advice doesn’t mean you should rethink traveling. Just the opposite in fact. Now, perhaps more than ever before, travel is essential to demonstrate to the world that American citizens as a whole are good people.
If you have a trip to Washington, DC, coming up soon, the Smithsonian Museums are a standard to fill time. How about a change of pace? Here are six things to do in DC that many visitors overlook – including The George Mason Memorial, The National Gallery of Art free concerts, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Air Force Memorial, and the National Archives.
The C&O Canal trail in Washington DC is part of a recreational wonder that threads 184.5 miles through cities and greenways along the Potomac River in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. Find time to walk the C&O Canal trail.
On a few hour break from our Hurtigruten ship, the Midnatsol before it would depart the dock to head back south along the Norwegian coast toward Oslo, we took a little walk through Kirkenes. Although mid-day, it felt more like twilight and everything was icy and snow-covered. We ended up along the banks of an inlet with Nordic skiing tracks.
Being mobile as a traveler these days mostly demands you carry a little juice to keep your devices functioning – camera, smartphone, tablet, you name it. The Lander Cascade Powerbank charger line is sleek, durable and reliable for a traveler’s needs.
The San Francisco Bay Area hills are spotted with numerous parks where one can hike or picnic, often with great views of the rolling countryside or even the ocean. Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve east of San Francisco has another secret worth a traveler’s exploration: the Rose Hill Cemetery dating back to the Gold Rush.
Open since 2016, this remarkable Deutsche Bank branch in Berlin has been called “Q110 Bank” or “Bank of the Future.” Now just known as Quartier Zukunft, we remain enthralled by the unique banking space with a cafe, greenhouse, meeting spaces and, of course, banking.
A photographer finds endless charm in Roros, Norway and, in the winter, plenty of dark days and snow! Roros is a historic mining town and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This door caught her eye.
Kids are travelers – as are their parents – and sometimes a little safety, education, or entertainment for little ones on the road can be a great choice when you are looking for holiday gifts. Here are a few picks of gifts for traveling kids from HI Travel Tales and our traveling friends.
Passing near the river and looking across at the stone walls of Peter and Paul Fortress, I suddenly spied all these semi-naked people. What the heck were they doing there in the middle of the winter, sunbathing? It was, dare I say, freezing!
The OOFOS sandals are a different breed of sandal. Super lightweight, supportive comfort for travel whether you’re putting in some legwork or loitering at a café.
Memorials to the 9/11 terrorist attacks attract attention, visits and bring up many emotions. New York, Pennsylvania, the Pentagon. But did you know there is also a very moving 9/11 memorial at Boston Logan Airport tucked away next to traffic-filled arrival roads.
Hiking poles are a nice accessory on hikes or longer treks in the mountains. But your friendly TSA agents may not take kindly to long pointy sticks. Thus, the necessity for lightweight, foldable travel companions, which is exactly what the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z poles are.
Colombia, the northernmost country in South America, borders on Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, with coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Today, travel to Colombia offers renewed possibilities for adventure and tourism fun that many countries do not. Its darker days of crime and drug lords are past, and the people want you to come to their country, offering a warm welcome with a growing tourist infrastructure. We had the chance to talk to first-time Journeys International travelers Judith and Clive Kamins about their February 2016 trip to Colombia. Although Journeys newbies, the retired seniors from Chicago have in fact “touched every continent except Antarctica, as our grandchildren remind us.”
On our daylong adventure to get to Dragon Gate, we climbed steep stairs and ventured into caves and small temples – what a worthwhile trek! At our last stop at the end of the day at Huating Temple, I ambled silently around the pond. It was very quiet, I felt peaceful, and no tourists were in sight since it was only minutes before 5 p.m. when the gates would close.
With the trend these days being toward four-wheeled luggage (Eagle Creek calls it “AWD” for “all-wheel drive,” tapping into that adventure je ne sais quoi), we decided to give one of the company’s four-wheel “spinner” bags, the Gear Warrior AWD, a whirl on several trips, both on domestic trips by car and train, and on international travel by plane, train and bus.
If a visit to China takes you to the Yunnan province, you will most likely end up passing through Kunming, the region’s large and quite bustling metropolitan area. Here are six top things to do in Kunming on a stopover, whether you are traveling there to visit the city itself, or need a few days to acclimatize to jet travel or altitude (Don’t forget that Kunming is 6,200 feet elevation).
Armenian Blessing of the Grapes Ceremony at the Holy Trinity Church in Fresno, California in 2016. Armenians have blessed the grape harvest in mid-August since the Old Testament. Rich in religious symbolism, the blessing still happens around the globe at the start of the harvest.
Since HI Travel Tales is based in California’s so-called Gold Country, we naively thought that this was the center of the panning for gold world. You know, Sierra Nevada gold rush, gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, gold miners, ‘49ers, and all that jazz. Boy did we learn a thing or two, like gold panning is a world-wide pursuit and there is even a world championships each year.
Jet lag is nearly inevitable, really, when you travel at today’s pace across multiple time zones. Man was meant to saunter thousands of miles, not jet between continents to suddenly find himself propelled into tomorrow or reliving this morning. Avoiding jet lag is really all about minimizing jet lag’s effects. That is indeed possible, but some of what you need to do may seem counter-intuitive.
A good number of flights to and from various Asian cities experience a Hong Kong airport layover — for a few hours or even much longer, like our layover of 17 hours. No need to hunker down in the airport, though. Hong Kong has made taking a quick trip into town such child’s play. So go ahead, pop into Hong Kong for a meal, a walk, the famous Hong Kong waterfront light show, or even a night’s sleep.
It’s difficult to not be impressed with the twisting and turning koi with their mouths gaping open at Thanksgiving Point Gardens. Their yellow, oranges and browns mix up with lily pads, causing a bright eye-catcher.
Driving north on State Route 99 through California’s Central Valley isn’t always a travel bright spot. But keep your eyes open and pioneering history may pop out at you – such as the Liberty Cemetery from the 1850s.
Backpacking anywhere in the world is a great way to escape the everyday life on your travels. But these days there are parts of everyday life I don’t want to leave behind – like a little sleeping comfort with as little carrying weight as possible. The Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated Mat is a superior solution that manages that fine balance between ultralight and comfort when you are traveling.
Paris is a city that is filled with parks – more than 400 — from postage stamp size ones on street corners to sprawling green spaces, like the Jardin des Plantes with its 28 hectares (69 acres) that were first planted in 1626. The most beautiful thing about this plant-filled wonderland for visitors? It’s free.
When you’re driving along Interstate 80 across frequently spectacular yet periodically desolate Nevada desert, eatery choices can be, well, less than inviting. So when we first found this amazing deli in Elko – now called Basque Ogi Deli, but it was “2 Dames and a Deli” when we discovered it – we were utterly delighted.
Situated at about the halfway point of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Michigan Bluff is a California Gold Rush town so tiny nobody even bothers to count how many people live there. Could be about 20. Give or take. An old mining hamlet that once teemed with thousands of gold-seeking pioneers, this is what they call in true Old West cowboy slang a “one-horse town.” No, there’s not much there, but that’s what makes it charming and worth a stop for a hike or a walk when in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country.
Underground city tours always seemed to be a tourist come-on to me, but then I discovered Berlin Underground tours. Not a for-profit business, not a tour that drops you off in a gift shop, not a tour that starts in a bar and highlights raucous partying, this is the real deal in Berlin’s Underground.
The GSI Javapress is a pretty nifty, lightweight (less than 10 ounces), multifunctional travel coffee mug … that also does tea or even serves as a multi-purpose beverage mug since you don’t have that nasty ol’ plunger to get in the way.
With so many multifunctional travel shoes on the market, it is sometimes difficult to determine what may make one better than another. Heck, what does “better” mean? In the case of the Mammut Comfort Low GTX Surround ($169, men’s and women’s), we enlisted an experienced hiker and traveler as our wear-tester to give it a real-world beating.
The memorial on the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz (Bethlehem Church Square) is actually the work of Spanish artist Juan Garaizabel to commemorate the Bohemian Bethlehem Church. This small church was built for Bohemian evangelical refugees in about 1735 and was a center of the community. It was destroyed by bombing in 1943.
Not every must-see travel destination is so easy to get to. And that can make the journey even more of an adventure. Dragon Gate in the Western Hills Xishan Park on the outskirts of Kunming, China, is one of those. The reasons we can list are many – green hills with forested walking paths, a breather from the sensory chaos of the city, temples and pavilions dating back to the 11th century, views of the region from about 8,200 feet (2,000 feet above the city itself), winding stone staircases, strolling monks…
A visit to the Planten un Blomen Garden on your Hamburg tour is a must, whether you are a flower and garden lover, adore open spaces, enjoy dancing water fountains, or just want a nice place for a stroll or picnic. Now, not many non-Germans head there – obvious in the fact that the official Hamburg tourism website doesn’t have the garden’s page translated into English!
Taking the Rocky Mountaineer train across Canada means early starts and, sometimes, long days too. But what better way to experience the morning than slithering out of Kamloops on the Rocky Mountaineer train on a unique scenic journey along the Thompson River.
When it comes to spending money in China as a traveler, there are any number of strategies, insights and challenges. Do you tip? How much should you bargain and where? How much is too much to spend for something? As we noted in our article about getting money in China (“Travel Guide to Managing Money in China”), dealing with the necessity of using and spending money in a foreign country is always a challenge. But it’s not a challenge that cannot be mastered smartly with a little thought and preparation.
When traveling to China, figuring out how to deal with money (exchanging foreign currency and buying things) can be equal parts mystery and frustration. We’ve traveled to Mainland China multiple times over the past decade, most recently in Spring 2016, and learn something new about getting and managing money in China each time.
For many women, choosing a travel bra can be a challenge. An excellent, versatile, easy-wash-n-dry travel bra that provides needed support and mandatory comfort isn’t easy to find. Then I discovered the Knixwear Evolution Bra. Go buy one now. You will not regret it.