Quantcast

Travel

Tourists walk through Dubrovnik's old town Sept. 7. Crowds of tourist are clogging the entrances into the ancient walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as huge cruise ships unload thousands more daily.<br>Darko Bandic/AP

Mass tourism threatens Dubrovnik, Croatia’s 'Game of Thrones' town

Marc van Bloemen has lived in the old town of Dubrovnik, a Croatian citadel widely praised as the jewel of the Adriatic, for decades, since he was a child. He says it used to be a privilege. Now it’s a nightmare.


see more stateside travel
see more stateside travel
  • Military families offered deal on Universal Orlando Resort vacation

    Universal Orlando Resort is offering active-duty and retired troops and their families a four-for-one deal through the rest of the year.


  • From boom to bust and back again, Astoria appeals as gateway to the Oregon coast

    Founded a little over 200 years ago as America's first settlement in the West, this port city finds itself buoyed these days by a tourist-fueled revival. Yet history lingers here, palpable and powerful, just a two-hour drive from the state's metropolitan center of Portland.


  • DIY Network fans can live a 'Salvage Dawgs' life - for a night

    Navy veterans Mike Whiteside and Robert Kulp started salvaging together in 1999 and opened shop as Black Dog Salvage later that year. Their warehouses in Virginia have become bucket-list destinations for fans of "Salvage Dawgs." Now, those fans have a place to stay.


  • A guide to Portland, beyond the birds and beards

    Portland may have a reputation for putting birds on things and performative quirkiness, but, as with most things, the reality is a lot more complicated. That's a good thing, and it should be the guiding principle for your next visit to the city.


  • Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana

    Few places remain where you can witness American bison roaming fenceless in their native habitat. Yellowstone National Park is such a destination, with more than 4 million visitors a year and bumper-to-bison traffic through summer. The American Prairie Reserve is a lesser-known site, a bit more off the beaten path, but utterly immense in its scope and vision.


  • Hawaii is about to ban popular sunscreen brands to protect its coral reefs

    From Banana Boat to Coppertone, major sunscreen brands will soon have to revamp their products or stop selling them in Hawaii. State lawmakers passed legislation in May that would ban skin-care companies from selling and distributing sunscreens on the islands that contain two chemicals deemed damaging to coral reefs. The bill is opposed by various companies and business associations and even some dermatologists, who worry that the ban may discourage people from wearing sunscreen at all.


  • Give me a decaf mocha frappuccino — and hold the fish

    A prudent first consideration when trying to understand Seattle is that it is not Athens, Rome or, for that matter, Stratford-upon-Avon. Although Seattle remains heavily European in population and influence, it doesn't completely fit a classical definition of what is Western; in fact, it doesn't quite fit any classical definition. It is, in a word, "whatever," in the very contemporary use of that word to mean, "If that works for you, I'm OK with it."


  • Leaving technology behind on vacation in Lancaster County, Pa.

    Children are welcome at Iron Stone Acres, the bed-and-breakfast that Sharon Zimmerman has been running for nearly 30 years in rural Narvon, Pa., but they'll need to entertain themselves. The Mennonite-owned dairy farm has no internet connection and no TVs, and you'll have to head into town to find a newspaper. The severed connection to technology in favor of the farm's peace and quiet is exactly what draws many of Zimmerman's visitors.


  • DC's secret Navy museum is amazing - if you can figure out how to get in

    The National Museum of the United States Navy is free and open to the public, but it's on the Washington Navy Yard - a military base that intentionally deters casual visitors.


  • Canoeing in the wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters

    Every paddle stroke sprinkled water drops, reflecting the setting sun like sparklers across the black, glacier-carved lake. Just a few hours earlier, I had been portaging on an ankle-deep muddy trail with that 55-pound canoe balanced over my head, shielding me from a chilly downpour. That contrast is the essence of the wilderness experience in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. The physical effort required to explore its off-the-grid remoteness — including carrying a canoe solo on slippery, rocky trails — makes every worry evaporate like steam off woolen socks strung over a campfire.


  • SeaWorld announces free tickets for military personnel through July 4

    SeaWorld officials have announced United States military veterans and up to three guests will receive free admission to its theme parks through July 4. Veterans will be able to gain free tickets to SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld San Diego by redeeming admission through the Waves of Honor website.


  • Exploring the spectacular landscape of south-central Utah

    Like most hikes and drives in south-central Utah, Lower Muley Twist Canyon is both heavenly and hellish for someone curious about what's around the next corner - and I definitely am. It's possible to hike down the canyon, in Capitol Reef National Park, for 12 miles and turn at least three times as many corners.


  • It's time to reconsider Vegas

    The Las Vegas you know and love (or hate) is in the midst of a reinvention. The convention center is being overhauled and expanded at a cost of $1.4 billion, and hotel mainstays, from the Palms to Caesars, are getting nine-figure renovations.


  • New Orleans turns 300, and you're invited to the yearlong party

    As if New Orleans needed to give visitors another reason to party, the city celebrates its 300th birthday this year. That means non-stop tricentennial events, parades, exhibits and more on top of the Big Easy's already packed calendar. America's most unique city draws tourists for its culture, food, cocktails and festivals -- and keeps them coming back by embracing its rich history while continuing to evolve.


  • Florida roadside attraction: Gators to the left, crocs to the right

    There's a fine line between alligators and crocodiles. At Gatorama, a roadside attraction in Palmdale, Fla., off U.S. Highway 27, that line is a boardwalk.


  • How to plan your next 'walk-cation'

    On my latest trip to Chicago, I consumed nine tacos, three doughnuts, an Indian crepe, a giant tamale, a mound of carnitas, a bowl of pasta and a table full of Vietnamese food. How did I not gain 15 pounds? Well, I also walked 8 to 10 miles per day -- which is typical for me when I travel.


  • It’s leisure as usual for travelers to Hawaii despite lava flow

    While the photos and videos of the popping, churning, spewing lava from Kilauea volcano look post-apocalyptic, officials with the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau say that the danger zones are isolated to private, residential areas and they don’t expect an impact on travelers. "Really, almost 90 percent of the island is unaffected," says Ross Birch, executive director of the Hawaii Island Visitors and Convention Bureau.


  • To bring back visitors, museums are having to draw on their own creativity

    We’re standing in front of the painting "Black Cross, New Mexico" by Georgia O’Keeffe at the Art Institute of Chicago when our animated tour guide, Jessamyn Fitzpatrick, asks what O’Keeffe is known for. One woman in our group of eight says flowers. Another pipes up with the female anatomy. Fitzpatrick nods to both and smiles.


  • World-class heritage -- in the US

    Most likely, you have been to a UNESCO World Heritage site in the United States without knowing it. Remember that Griswoldian summer vacation to the Grand Canyon? The high school field trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia? The college tour of the University of Virginia? Congratulations! That’s three in your pocket. But don’t stop now. You can collect all 23, intentionally or accidentally.


  • Tired of the Smithsonian? These small, quirky DC museums are worth a visit

    Washington is known for its museums. But venture beyond the Mall, which is home to four of the 20 most-visited museums in the world, and you'll find plenty of smaller, quirkier institutions.


  • Alaskan illuminations

    Where were they? The hour was closer to midnight than noon, and the sky above the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna was as black as a bear’s button nose. Several stars twinkled their encouragement. Before stepping out in the minus-numbing-degree air, I had checked the Aurora Forecast. The rating was a 5, which the Geophysical Institute described as meaning “Auroral activity will be high.” I had even brought along my lucky charm, Aurora Dora. So I ask again: Where were they?


  • In a DC museum, a sense of no-holds-barred Burning Man desert art

    In the low-lit, second-floor room of Washington’s Renwick Gallery, a cluster of three ceiling-height plastic mushrooms glows in a shifting kaleidoscope of neon colors. At each mushrooms’ base is a pad that users can press, causing the sculptures to heave, sigh, and expand in and out. The installation, "Shrumen Lumen" by the FoldHaus Art Collective, was initially on view under the night sky at Burning Man, a weeklong annual festival in the Nevada desert that celebrates the various joys of communal living, 24-hour dance parties, public art, provocative costumes, substance use and a potpourri of spiritualties.


  • Avocados, okra, wine: some of this traveler's favorite souvenirs

    I was on the hunt for the perfect souvenir. Standing over a collection of gorgeous specimens, I knew just what I was looking for: something smooth and flawless. I wasn't perusing a high-end boutique or rifling through antiques; I was staring into a bin of beautiful avocados. And for less than a dollar apiece? I couldn't think of anything I'd rather bring home from California.


  • Social media has turned this sticky alley into one of Seattle’s top tourist destinations

    It’s the photo every tourist visiting Seattle has to have: the gum-wall selfie. The quirky oddity at Pike Place Market, for years just 15 feet wide, has turned into a canyon of chewing gum. On a sunny weekend day, hundreds of people can be found crammed into Post Alley — chewing gum, blowing bubbles and documenting the entire experience.


  • TSA agents have been asking some travelers to remove snacks from carry-ons

    You've taken off your shoes and removed your laptop from your carry-on bag to go through airport security screening. You candy bar may be next.


  • In Virginia, Henry’s ’Give me liberty or give me death!’ lives on

    I knew Patrick Henry gave the famous "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech -- but that’s all I knew. Curious about this hero of the American Revolution, my wife, Carol, and I traveled to Richmond, Virginia, and nearby Hanover County to visit several historical sites associated with the fiery Virginia orator. Using the "Road to Revolution Heritage Trail" website - one of 13 Virginia State Heritage Trail guides - we curated our own Henry history tour.


  • How tall passengers cope with air travel

    Jim Fox dreads flying. With good reason. At 6-feet-10, the former NBA player has to squeeze himself into economy class seats, which isn’t always possible.


  • Tech expert takes on Six Flags' new VR coaster in Arlington, Texas

    When I saw the news a year ago that Six Flags Over Texas and Samsung were teaming up to bring a new virtual reality roller coaster experience, I wasn't exactly rushing to be the first in line. In fact, I was pretty sure I wouldn't like it. I was wrong.


  • Sacramento plays its role well in 'Lady Bird' film

    "You clearly love Sacramento," says the Catholic nun and high school principal as she looks over the college essay written by one of her students. The teenager, who clearly thinks the city is uncool, shrugs and says she just pays attention to her surroundings. "Well, it comes across as love," says the nun. "Don't you think maybe they are the same thing, love and attention?"


  • Culture vulture, foodie gets her fix in New York City

    New York is a city I've always had something of a love/hate relationship with. First the hate: the noise level, which most Manhattanites seem not to notice, has me ready to chew off my own ears after a day or two -- the incessant drilling of jackhammers; cabbies sitting on their horns even when it's obvious they are going nowhere fast, and angry babel from multilinguals resulting from seemingly inane disagreements.


  • How I lived it up in Vegas without breaking the bank

    I took a breath, buried my pride and slid the $20 bill across the counter, suggestively. "Are there any complimentary upgrades available?" I asked the woman working the check-in at the Luxor Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. I was in town for four nights and on a mission to live it up in Las Vegas while keeping my bank account in check -- so I'd packaged my flight and hotel, chosen the cheapest room available and hoped for a little of that Sin City sleaze to make my stay a little more lavish. Simple bribery? Unabashed passing of the cash? I'd heard that worked. Sometimes, anyway.


  • America's industrial past is drawing tourists in increasing numbers

    Trip-planning multiple choice: a) Mountains b) Sand c) Surf d) Factories. If you picked the last vacation option, you've got company.


  • The acceleration of #vanlife

    Years before #vanlife took on a life of its own across social media in the United States, Bill Staggs was onto something. He had fond memories, dating to his late-1950s childhood, of family trips in a Volkswagen van. In the early 2000s, he started thinking that others might like to dip their toes into that nomadic lifestyle, chugging along behind the wheel of a rented classic vehicle with a cult following.


  • The 'emotional support animal' travel debate is tougher than you think

    Some of us might have gotten a good chuckle when a woman tried to bring her "emotional support peacock" on a flight. All humor aside, however, the incident served to reveal an elephant in the cabin and a far more complicated debate about how airlines treat animals, disabled passengers and those who abuse either.


  • 'Home of Sliced Bread': A small Missouri town champions its greatest thing

    U.S. Route 36 stretches for 200 miles across the flat farmland of northern Missouri, connecting Kansas to Illinois. The route is called "The Way of American Genius" because some of the nation's best-known innovators, creative minds and a military hero spent parts of their childhood near towns along the route. For ages, Chillicothe, a town of 9, 500 along the route, felt left out. As far as anyone knew, nothing had been invented there of equal stature.


  • Aloha, partner: Riding the Hawaiian range

    Concho wants to gallop. I can tell. He's a horse, after all, a headstrong one, and rippling green hills spread in every direction. Every so often, a break in the clouds reveals the barren summit of Mauna Kea to the south. But galloping is still a little ways outside my skill set, so with a twinge of guilt I pull the reins to keep my mount at a slow trot. He makes his disappointment clear with a snort and a toss of his head. The pace does make it easier to soak in the landscape of the 300-acre Dahana Ranch in the upcountry of Hawaii's Big Island.


  • After the wildfires, raising a toast in Sonoma, Calif.

    Chris Morano settled into the pillow-strewn bench in the lobby of the Sandman, surprisingly relaxed after all he has been through. Behind him, singed shrubs appeared through the hotel window. Near the swimming pool, a concrete wall bore the black eye of a fireball. On the coffee table, by his knees, sat the most recent issue of Sonoma Magazine, which was dedicated to the October wildfires in Northern California. The cover featured a first responder standing on a mountain engulfed in flames. The headline read, "The Fight of Our Lives. What Happened and What's Next." "How we escaped the devastation is beyond me," said Chris, the hotel's front office manager and chief concierge. "Mr. Sandman was watching over us."


  • Denali National Park welcomes its first, and last, luxury hotel

    One of the most luxurious lodges in Alaska, and one of the most remote anywhere, has just opened on a rocky glacier outcropping, or nunatak, smack in the middle of Denali National Park. From its wraparound windows, the resort’s guests -- a maximum of 10 at any given time -- can watch the aurora borealis dance around the sky or survey an endless horizon of jagged peaks blanketed in untouched snow. The only thing between them and the nearest summit is a sheer vertical rock wall that’s twice the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper.


  • Jazzed about New Orleans

    With a weekend on my hands, music on my mind, and a city on the verge of celebrating its tricentennial, I couldn't think of a better time to visit the birthplace of jazz. "Honey, pack your bags. We're going to New Orleans!"


  • Hard driving and smooth sailing in coastal Connecticut

    Among the stops on a German travel writer's tour of the Connecticut coast was the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, which is the main attraction of the Submarine Force Museum, along with Mystic Seaport and the PEZ candy factory.


  • In Philadelphia, a medical museum puts the human body on display

    "Where are the shrunken heads?" Any day you get to ask that question is a good day. When the answer could easily be "Go right at the orangutan’s brain, and they’re just past the leper’s leg," that’s the best day, because that means you’re at the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

see more
close
close
see more

pacific travel

With automation, Korean dumplings go global in business bet

Move over pot stickers, here comes another Asian dumpling. South Korea’s largest food company is making a multimillion-dollar bet on “mandu,” developing its own machines to automate the normally labor-intensive production of the Korean dumpling and building factories around the world.



pacific quick trips

Yamanashi Prefecture to go whole hog at second annual Japan Bacon Festival

Japan is a nation famous for its festival traditions. The celebrations — which can range from the rowdy and rambunctious, to the spiritual and serene — often date back hundreds of years, and many are steeped in ancient Japanese history and folklore. But a festival taking place next weekend in Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture is based on something a bit more contemporary: A love of all things bacon.


pacific after hours

Food truck trend hits Waikiki, bringing good eats and a casual atmosphere — but just temporarily

Throngs of diners are drawn in by the hubbub of a popular Honolulu food truck haven — but most stay for the diversity of offerings, which includes everything from Hawaiian, Thai, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese and even Laotian food.


see more pacific travel
see more pacific travel
  • Fireworks in the Pacific

    A calendar of fireworks and festivals in Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.


  • Defense Department-owned Hale Koa pumps $14M into its new pool area

    The Hale Koa Hotel’s swimming pool complex on Waikiki Beach, including its popular Barefoot Bar, is getting a $14 million makeover.


  • Waikiki Beach is only two miles of Oahu. The rest is well worth checking out.

    The towers of Waikiki Beach cast such long shadows over Oahu that it seems daunting, in the mind’s eye at least, to escape them when weighing a visit to Hawaii’s most populous island. But it can be done, and we did.


  • Hawaii is about to ban popular sunscreen brands to protect its coral reefs

    From Banana Boat to Coppertone, major sunscreen brands will soon have to revamp their products or stop selling them in Hawaii. State lawmakers passed legislation in May that would ban skin-care companies from selling and distributing sunscreens on the islands that contain two chemicals deemed damaging to coral reefs. The bill is opposed by various companies and business associations and even some dermatologists, who worry that the ban may discourage people from wearing sunscreen at all.


  • All aboard Hello Kitty: Pink bullet train debuts in Japan

    A Hello Kitty-themed “shinkansen” bullet train has debuted in Japan. Adorned with the cartoon icon inside and out, it’s a dream ride for fans of the internationally popular character.


  • Water parks and pools in Japan and Okinawa

    A calendar of nearby water parks and pools of interest to people living on U.S. facilities in the Pacific.


  • Explore an abandoned Chinese village now engulfed by nature

    Blanketed with greenery, the ghost town is perched atop cliffs looking west into sea mists obscuring the horizon. Abandoned homes ravaged by weather and creeping vines stand silent but for the surf, the whine of mosquitos, and birdsong. This is Houtouwan — “Back Bay” in Mandarin — an abandoned fishing village engulfed by nature on the far eastern island of Shengshan, 90 kilometers off the coast of Shanghai.


  • It’s leisure as usual for travelers to Hawaii despite lava flow

    While the photos and videos of the popping, churning, spewing lava from Kilauea volcano look post-apocalyptic, officials with the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau say that the danger zones are isolated to private, residential areas and they don’t expect an impact on travelers. "Really, almost 90 percent of the island is unaffected," says Ross Birch, executive director of the Hawaii Island Visitors and Convention Bureau.


  • The Maldives’ new star villa is underwater

    On a recent trip to the Maldives, my itinerary was planned around a single hotel amenity: a bungalow with a two-story waterslide. In the luxury-friendly Maldives, more than anywhere else on Earth, it’s extravagant design features rather than location or good restaurants that make a hotel.


  • Hiking the authentic Great Wall of China, without the crush

    Tires crunch the gravel as our driver turns around and makes his way back down the narrow access road, leaving my fiance, his mother and me alone in front of an empty building. The air is cool and fresh, and a few white clouds move briskly across the blue sky. Beijing, with its more than 20 million inhabitants, gleaming skyscrapers and intermittent layer of smog, is a safe 50 miles to the south. All being well, we’ll see the driver again in about four hours, at our pickup location.


  • Alaskan illuminations

    Where were they? The hour was closer to midnight than noon, and the sky above the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna was as black as a bear’s button nose. Several stars twinkled their encouragement. Before stepping out in the minus-numbing-degree air, I had checked the Aurora Forecast. The rating was a 5, which the Geophysical Institute described as meaning “Auroral activity will be high.” I had even brought along my lucky charm, Aurora Dora. So I ask again: Where were they?


  • Solomon Islands: A deep dive, and WWII artifacts

    If a remote South Pacific destination with lots of World War II artifacts and world-class diving appeals to you, check out the Solomon Islands. This 992-island archipelago sits northeast of Australia, about 6,100 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Most of its 550,000 citizens are Melanesians and almost everyone speaks English.


  • Blossoming cherry trees serve as reminder of allies’ colorful history

    More than 100 years ago, Japan sent more than 3,000 Japanese cherry trees to Washington. In 1982, that symbol grew even greater meaning.


  • Cambodia up close: River cruise on the Mekong makes for immersive experience

    "Life is not staying still," Vuthy spoke softly to me, like a kind older brother. "It is moving from one place to the next." I followed his rhythmic breathing -- in, out -- inhaling the lotus air and untangling my own breath from the outside Cambodian breeze, flowing in through the open temple doors.


  • A wintry windfall in Japan's heavenly ski region

    There are 195 countries in the world, many that can be envisioned before ever stepping foot on foreign soil. And then there's Hokkaido, a destination within a destination that will take every preconceived notion you have about Japan and crumple it into a little ball. In its place will be snow, more snow and the champagne powder that has turned sleepy farm towns into the next big thing since Whistler.


  • A region on New Zealand’s North Island is the Southern Hemisphere’s take on Yellowstone

    I’d been warned about the stink. It hit me the instant I stepped off the plane in Rotorua: a mix of bad egg and warm sewer gas that has earned this city on New Zealand’s North Island the nickname "Sulphur City" -- or, less kindly, "Rotten-Rua." I sucked in a deep breath and smiled. That subterranean scent meant I would soon be soaking in curative hot springs, smothering my body in primeval goo and exploring a land of burping mud pots, prismatic pools, boiling rivers and shooting geysers.


  • Disney family magic wanes in Hong Kong as Macau's lights dazzle

    When Chinese tourists choose a family travel destination, Hong Kong Disneyland would seem like a logical choice. But it's the nearby gambling hub of Macau that has all the momentum.


  • Fiji pride: Where paradise is more than sand and sea

    If Fiji was nothing more than sand and sea, palm fronds and flowers, it wouldn’t matter which South Pacific beach resort you visited. Every vacation would be just another ho-hum adventure. But after 15 years and as many visits to this 333-island nation, I’ve got a pretty good idea why each destination promises a unique experience. What’s the secret? It’s the Fijians themselves, proud to be Fijian and proud to show you their country.


  • Aloha, partner: Riding the Hawaiian range

    Concho wants to gallop. I can tell. He's a horse, after all, a headstrong one, and rippling green hills spread in every direction. Every so often, a break in the clouds reveals the barren summit of Mauna Kea to the south. But galloping is still a little ways outside my skill set, so with a twinge of guilt I pull the reins to keep my mount at a slow trot. He makes his disappointment clear with a snort and a toss of his head. The pace does make it easier to soak in the landscape of the 300-acre Dahana Ranch in the upcountry of Hawaii's Big Island.


  • Beyond the musts: 3 free sites off the beaten path in Maui

    If you’re visiting Maui, a few sites are musts. You must visit Haleakala. You must enjoy the dancing — and the food — at the Old Lahaina Luau. You must walk through the branches of the Banyan Tree in Lahaina. And don’t drive past the Maui Ocean Center, especially if you love turtles. My husband and I had two weeks on the island paradise, so we could afford to indulge in some of the sites less traveled. Once we’d seen the “must” places, we dove deeper into the island’s history and wildlife.


  • Proposal aims to reduce Mt. Fuji climbers by up to 25 percent

    Japan's Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures proposed reducing congestion on Mount Fuji by 12 to 25 percent per day during the peak period by lowering the number of climbers using two of the mountain's four trails.


  • After their town was relocated, they found an uneasy truce with the Pyeongchang Games

    One by one Friday, in new living room after new living room, the television sets flicked on in this village of 12 homes, just in time to watch the opening ceremony for an Olympics that had changed everything here. "Live," it said in the upper right corner of Nam Jae-hwan’s television screen, and he sat down with his wife on a linoleum floor.


  • During Japan's tourism boom, try these off-the-grid locations

    Travel to Japan showed double-digit growth in 2017 from 2016, so you’ll want to take advantage of this development and escape the crowds by hitting the stunning countryside.


  • Tokyo studios photograph clients as samurai and courtesans

    Studios where visitors can have themselves dressed and photographed as samurai warriors or high-ranking Japanese courtesans are becoming increasingly popular in Tokyo.


  • Famous Maui road leads to enchanting, rarely visited Kahanu Garden

    Kahanu Garden was to be one of our two stops along the Hana Highway. The site would be the best of all worlds for us — native plants and flowers for me, and history for my husband.


  • Singapore: The world's newest great cocktail capital

    For a place that’s known to be quite conservative, Singapore offers cocktails that have a tendency to make your heart race.


  • World’s largest, most lavish Starbucks opens in Shanghai

    Starbucks once made waves with the indulgent sizes of some of its drinks, such as the Trenta, which contains a staggering 31 ounces of joe. Now, as part of the company’s aggressive expansion in China, the Seattle-based coffee retailer opened its largest store in the world: a nearly 30,000-square foot compound that does much more than simply serve coffee.


  • South Korea’s Jeju Island attracts tourists with Hawaii-like scenery

    Volcanic mountains, waterfalls and scenic beaches are among the many reasons Jeju Island is known as the Hawaii of South Korea.


  • On Molokai island, the site of an 1860s leper colony draws determined travelers

    The isolated historic leper colony of Kalaupapa is the No. 1 tourist destination on the untouristy Hawaiian island of Molokai.


  • Night market re-energizes Hawaii's lava-buried village of Kaimu

    What remains of this Big Island village south of Hilo has re-energized with a weekly night market that draws lines of cars to fill a parking lot edging a sprawling black field of lava rock.


  • A visit to Japan's space center can be out of this world

    The Tsukuba Space Center is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s version of NASA mission control.


  • Secret Garden lets tourists follow in the footsteps of Korea’s kings and queens

    Visitors used to require permission from the king to enter the Secret Garden, a lush park behind the Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul. Now you can book a guided tour online.


  • The Kingdom of Tonga offers unspoiled beauty, a slow pace and expressive locals

    As I stepped off the little boat after 48 hours of travel, I felt a little like Tom Sawyer. Mostly because my family would be staying in a treehouse. But also because the island looked like something out of a storybook.


  • Maui's Lahaina boasts some of the best attractions in Hawaii

    Lahaina is better known for its modern-day touristy souvenir shops and cafes, but a stroll along its waterfront yields a glimpse into Hawaii’s past, from its whaling days to King Kamehameha’s extracurricular activities.


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

    Hana is most famous not on its own merits, but for the coastal road to it, which is a winding, unbelievably gorgeous tropical adventure of two very narrow lanes.


  • Skip the taxis; enjoy Kyoto by rail, foot or bicycle

    Many foreign visitors see getting around Kyoto as a problem rather than an opportunity. Instead of walking, biking and riding Kyoto’s working museum of train lines, they turn to taxis (expensive and slow) and buses (extensive but even slower).


  • Modern architecture makes for eye candy in Osaka, Japan

    Visitors will be able to look inside some of Osaka’s premiere buildings at the fourth-annual Living Architecture Museum Festival Osaka, set to take place Oct. 28-29.


  • Temple in Sasayama, Japan, opens up to anime and video game subculture

    Daikokuji temple in Sasayama is dubbed the “Shoso-in of the Tanba area” after the repository in Nara that dates back to the eighth century. Tanba is the area in Hyogo Prefecture where Sasayama is located. The temple is said to have been opened by a hermit sometime between 645 and 650, during the Asuka period, to pray for the nation’s peace and security.


  • Hawaii center lets kids learn while having fun

    Let’s from the get-go concede one problem with Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center: It’s hard to get a kid to leave this prepubescent paradise.


  • A curious journey through southwest China

    It was a road trip through one of China’s most tightly controlled regions. We were closely monitored. Each time we stopped at an attraction, two to five SUVs full of brooding middle-aged men would park behind us.


  • 9 fun things in Honolulu: Foodie finds old favorites and new

    Here are nine ways to help make a weekend or so here great — centering on eating and drinking that's not the Cheesecake Factory.

see more
close
close


europe quick trips

Europe Quick Trips

From hiking and spelunking to alpine roller coasters, there’s no shortage of things to do in Pottenstein

Seen one village, seen ’em all, am I right? Well, not quite. Even if you’ve been to so many German villages that the words “quaint” and “idyllic” fail to inspire, there’s still one village that should be on your list: Pottenstein.


europe after hours

Bun-D a healthy option among Kaiserslautern community center’s fast-food eateries

I’m normally among the first to sample any new eateries around Vogelweh and Ramstein. I celebrated the debuts of Dunkin’ Donuts, Popeyes and P.F. Chang’s as I lamented the fiery demise of the parking-lot Burger King and the disappearance of Chili’s Too. I welcomed the expansion of Shawingz and Doener Time into Vogelweh’s Kazabra Club. I’m anxiously awaiting Boston Market’s attempt to succeed where Captain D’s failed and intend to contribute what I can to that success.


see more europe travel
see more europe travel
  • Trying on a farmhouse in Northern Italy for size

    Framed by a mountainous horizon, the farm fields are littered with hay bales, both round and rectangular, and I’m reminded of the Virginia Piedmont, where I grew up. Such a gentle, pastoral landscape seems imprinted in my spiritual DNA, and is the real reason I’ve journeyed here, to Northern Italy’s Piemonte region: to discover whether the two places have more than similar names in common.


  • europe travel

    Sibiu, Romania: On the vampire trail to Dracula’s castle — and so much more

    Sibiu is the place to start a journey through Transylvania, but there’s plenty more to discover wandering through the city.


  • In Seville, Spain, young chefs are creating the next generation of tapas

    The first time I encountered tapas, I was 6 and didn't like them. My head was level with a huge wooden bar, and all I could see was a school of shiny silvery fish languishing near slices of bread. I've grown some since then; my head clears the bar most days. Meanwhile, tapas have become an international phenomenon.


  • In the south of France, a city is still ruled by ancient Rome

    A funny thing happened on the way to the Airbnb. As we dragged our suitcases along the cobblestones in the southern French city of Nimes, we saw a gladiator on a cellphone. The helmet-wearing warrior, looking straight out of ancient Rome, winked at my kids and kept marching toward the amphitheater.


  • video, gallery

    Visiting American WWI sites a century after conflict ended

    A century after World War I, you can visit the places where the Americans fought and died. The landscape is still pockmarked with craters from artillery shells. Monuments honor those who fought. And white marble crosses and Stars of David, in well-groomed cemeteries, mark where many of those killed still rest.


  • In Slovenia, a ski and a swim make an unusual pairing

    As an American expat happily living in Slovenia for many years, I love exploring my adopted country and looking, more deeply than perhaps even locals do, into what makes it such a wonderful place to visit and reside. One line I hear frequently, and which guidebooks like to boast about, is that the country is so compact, with such a diversity of terrain, that you can ski in the morning and swim in the ocean in the afternoon. Would it be any fun? Only one way to find out.


  • Forget spritzes, shopping and fancy hotels. The best part of Lake Como is being on it.

    “Mom! Do you have the permit?? WHERE IS THE PERMIT???” I yelled above the engine of our custom Cantiere Ernesto Riva motorboat while zooming along Italy’s Lake Como. I had just gotten comfortable in my captain’s perch. Then, a gust seemed to sweep away the paperwork required for taking out this stunner of a boat, at a whopping $190 an hour.


  • You ate what?! A fearless foodie’s foray into the bouchons of Lyon

    Andrew picks up his beer and leans back against the red banquette seating at Le Romarin, a tiny bistro-bar in the heart of Lyon. Over the next 48 hours, we’re planning to eat our way across this famously gastronomic city, but something is worrying him. “I’m looking forward to the wine,” he says. “I’m looking forward to the cheese. I’m just not sure about the innards.” Most people would see his point. Not me. I love offal.


  • The next ferry you board might run on batteries

    Not far from Norway’s North Sea oil rigs, shipbuilders are assembling some of the first ferry boats ever to be powered entirely by batteries.


  • Northern Ireland’s lake lands: Rain, history and the Mellons

    We stood at the bar of the grand Lough Erne Resort, looking out at the driving rain. “You see that lake out there,” mused the barman wryly. “That was a field this morning.” This was my first trip to Northern Ireland’s lake lands in the western region, two hours by car from Belfast and a slightly longer drive from Dublin.


  • Europe Travel

    Switzerland-Italy train ride traverses different worlds

    The new Gotthard Base Tunnel is a 35-mile stretch through a mountain of granite. The scenery transforms from mountainous Alpine stretches to palm tree-dappled Mediterranean landscape. Even the outside temperature is a few degrees warmer than it was where the tunnel starts.


  • Medieval meets modern in charming Kilkenny, Ireland

    On a sunny Friday afternoon in April, the sleepy city of Kilkenny, Ireland, began to wake up. Chattering students filled the sidewalks, their book bags slung across school uniforms, many of the boys carrying the short, hockey-like sticks used in hurling. Locals hurried through Butter Slip, a narrow passage between two streets where butter vendors set up stalls in medieval times. And shoppers ducked into the small stores that share a main street with a 17th-century merchant’s house and an 18th-century town hall building that was served as a customhouse.


  • Biking Britain, end to end

    Our three-week British bike trip last spring could be called a series of literal highs and lows. We cycled what’s called the End to End: from Land’s End on the southwestern tip of Cornwall in England to John O’Groats in the northeastern corner of Scotland.


  • Don't overlook Germany's second-largest city

    Germany’s second-largest city, Hamburg, is awash with history, and played especially key roles in the stories of 19th-century emigration, World War II and the Beatles.


  • European war museums echo 'Never again'

    All over Europe, there is little stomach for war. The motto of one military museum I visited in Vienna says it all: “War is something for museums.” And many European countries have followed this advice — creating fascinating exhibits about their military heritage.


  • Air travelers on layovers see Frankfurt on foot thanks to walking tour

    In the just-waking hours of a cool, misty morning, we slipped into Frankfurt, Germany, the way dreams slide between vivid reality and hazy memory: surreal and ephemeral.


  • How to foil Europe's clever pickpockets

    I don’t give much thought to petty crime when I travel abroad. I’m well aware that it happens: I’ve been preaching about the importance of wearing a moneybelt for decades. And for decades — probably about a total of 4,000 days of travel — I’ve never been hit by a thief. Well, my happy streak finally ended: I was pickpocketed in Paris last summer.


  • Some European travel cliches are worthy experiences

    Amped-up Spanish flamenco bars, dirndl skirts in Germany, ape tours of the Rock of Gibraltar — when does something slip from authentic to cheesy?


  • Europe travel

    Record-breaking cable car to Zugspitze opens near military recreation center

    A world record-breaking gondola is set to open Friday on Germany’s tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, just outside the Armed Forces Recreation Center Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.


  • Sweden's glass country sparkles with pride

    You can’t say you’ve seen Sweden if you’ve only been to Stockholm. Rural Sweden, especially the province of Smaland, is a worthy addition to any Scandinavian itinerary.


  • Europe Travel

    Nuremberg’s Christmas market is nutcracker sweet

    With no canned music, fake greenery, plastic kitsch or war toys, Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt feels classier than your average crafts fair. With all these goodies, it’s no wonder that the market attracts more than 2 million people annually.


  • Three of Europe's most stunning journeys

    Sometimes in travel, the journey is the reward. And that is particularly true in Europe, where trains, buses and boats link destinations near and far, high and low, urban and rural, often through spectacular scenery.


  • Passengers enjoy scenery and pampering on a train from Dublin to Waterford

    There is something about trains that has captivated me since childhood. Alas, living in the U.S., I’m not able to indulge my passion for them much, which makes it all the more wonderful when I’m somewhere where I can. That most recent somewhere was Ireland, and the train wasn’t your garden variety type, but rather the Belmond Grand Hibernian.


  • Winter is a cool time to go local in Paris

    The City of Light shines year-round, but Paris has a special appeal in winter. Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy (the average high in January is 43 degrees Fahrenheit), but if you dress in layers, you’ll keep warm and easily deal with temperature changes as you go from cold streets to heated museums and cafes.


  • There's no place like Rome for the holidays

    I find the holiday season in Rome a joy: crisp air, stylish big-city Italians sipping hot cappuccino in corner cafes, and hurried shoppers thoughtfully pausing at grand manger scenes. The season in the Italian capital stretches for more than a month — not to maximize shopping days, but to fit in the season’s many holy days.


  • Free as the breeze: A chartered sailboat beats a cruise liner when hopping Greek islands

    To go where cruise ships don’t go was perhaps the biggest advantage of a sailboat charter in the Greek Cyclades.


  • Portugal's Nazare upholds ancient seaside traditions

    Just two hours north of Lisbon, Portugal, is one of my favorite beach towns: Nazare, an Atlantic Coast fishing village turned tourist retreat.


  • Double identity: Strasbourg is French, but it's German, too

    Strasbourg is the capital of France’s Alsace region and just a two-hour train ride from Paris. But it’s also just 2 miles from the border of Germany, and a popular port of call for cruises down the Rhine River.


  • Rural Romania: A land that time forgot

    Romania is full of surprises and wonderful people. And as you leave the capital of Bucharest, it gets even better. In the Romanian countryside, the nation’s unique history and traditional culture live on vividly.


  • Travel among epochs while roaming in Rome

    Within Rome's ancient walls, just 12 miles around, lie many of the city’s iconic gems: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain. We walked nearly everywhere, moving between epochs in a matter of minutes.


  • Luther's moment approaches: Oct. 31 marks 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation

    For the world’s roughly 800 million Protestants, a small corner of eastern Germany is their spiritual home — a place that takes on added importance this year, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.


  • Tiny island nation of Malta deserves more than just a stopover

    For travelers today, Malta’s proximity to Europe’s glamour destinations is a definite plus, if not a widely appreciated one. Often experienced as a day stop on Mediterranean cruises, Malta greatly rewards a longer stay.


  • Edinburgh's alleys hold a trove of historical treasure

    In long-ago days, this venerable town became known — oddly, affectionately — as “Auld Reekie.” It’s believed the nickname came, in part, from the smell generated as residents of yesteryear greeted each new day by opening their windows and flinging the contents of their chamber pots into the street below. This was before indoor plumbing — if you get my drift.


  • Birmingham museum and gallery offers a world-class collection

    I recently spent a peaceful afternoon at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, marveling at its impressive collection of art and artifacts, many of international importance.


  • Europe Travel

    Exhibit in Speyer, Germany, tells true tale of Richard the Lionheart of ‘Robin Hood’ fame

    Historical Museum of the Palatinate's display covers the details of King Richard I’s life and legend with more than 150 objects borrowed from renowned museums, libraries and even the queen of England.


  • In France’s Dordogne region, a land of castles and caves calls for deep exploration

    When our children were 11 and 9, young enough to still be entirely inside the family circle but old enough to remember, we splurged on a “once-in-a-lifetime vacation” and rented a small farmhouse in Southwestern France outside the village of Saint-Cyprien. Each day, our son and daughter would say goodbye to the donkey that hung around our patio and we’d climb in the tiny rented Renault and drive somewhere in the fairy tale-beautiful Dordogne River region.

see more
close
close