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Pacific Travel

The Kapalua coastline in Maui, Hawaii. Kapalua Bay Beach is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2018 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University.<br>Tor Johnson, Hawaii Tourism Authority/AP

Maui’s Kapalua Bay Beach tops Dr. Beach’s best beach list

A crescent-shaped beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui got the top slot Thursday on the list of best beaches issued annually by a Florida professor known as Dr. Beach. Kapalua Bay Beach topped the list released by Stephen Leatherman, a coastal science professor at Florida International University in Miami. And don’t worry about that lava-spewing volcano impacting visits to the Kapalua beach. The Kilauea volcano is on a different Hawaiian island, the Big Island.

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.


pacific quick trips

Bike trail near western Tokyo more about journey than destination

If you’re looking for a place to pedal or jog to your heart’s content, a place free of traffic lights and mobs of pedestrians, with more excitement than Tama River’s flat trail, a bike path near Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo might be just that place.




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