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U.S. Travel

Launching a balsa-wood airplane from the observation deck at the top of the Astoria Column is a rite of visiting. <br>Alex Pulaski, Chicago Tribune/TNS

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.


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.

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  • 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.


  • Don’t hate Miami because it’s beautiful. The city has brains too

    I have often said that I think Miami is America’s sexiest city. The sun-kissed metropolis is the United States’ answer to jet-setting hot spots from Monte Carlo to Marrakesh.


  • Mount Vernon visitors get a chance to be George Washington, the decision-maker

    "Be Washington," opening February 12, combines 18th-century reenactments with 21st-century technology as participants test their ability to make split-second decisions, tackling four challenges faced by George Washington during the Revolutionary War and in his presidency.


  • Deep dive into the Grand Canyon yields amazing scenery, if not solitude

    Roughly 6 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park in a year, but fewer than 100,000 of them spend a night in the park’s back country.


  • All Fifty States Club promotes seeing the entire U.S.

    There's no typical 50-stater — some are motivated by patriotism, meeting new people or a desire for new experiences. The objective also infuses vacations with a greater sense of purpose: "You're not just going to Hawaii to lie on the beach, you're going to Hawaii to complete this lifelong goal of visiting all 50 states."


  • The tiny home craze comes to vacation rentals

    The new Canoe Bay Escape Village features three types of tiny homes for rent outside Chetek, Wis.


  • There's plenty more to Orlando than theme parks

    Orlando, Fla., and its surroundings aren’t only about princesses and wizards. The headwaters of the Everglades are here, along with the St. Johns River and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, all of which offer opportunities for paddling, boating and wildlife viewing. You can delve into history, learn to swing on a trapeze or a zip line, ogle old war planes, ride a train into Old Florida or go wine-tasting. Here are some of our favorite escapes.


  • U.S. Naval War College unveils exhibit to teach about the Navy in WWI

    A new exhibit at the U.S. Naval War College Museum focuses on the Navy's role in WWI, using the career of Adm. William S. Sims, who commanded U.S. naval forces in Europe during the war, to tell the story.


  • GALLERY

    DC's Museum of the Bible begins to draw faith-based tour groups

    Officials at the newly opened Museum of the Bible hope the museum will become as much of an attraction for faith-based group tours as the Capitol or the Library of Congress. Already, the buses are arriving.


  • Minnesota's Hungry Hippie Hostel draws visitors from all over the world

    Since Kate and husband Jeremy Keeble opened the Hungry Hippie on their 10-acre farm nearly two years ago, they’ve struggled to keep up with the growing demand for the hostel — the first between Duluth and the Canadian border.


  • Breathing angels' air in Lake Tahoe

    Lake Tahoe is a winter wonderland that caters to all/


  • In Fredericksvurg, Va., walking a slave's trail to freedom

    In an instant, the world changed. Rumbling cannon fire from across the river announced the presence of federal troops. For the enslaved people in Fredericksburg, Va., on Good Friday morning in 1862, that sound meant freedom.


  • Find inner Zen in Portland's Japanese Garden

    Outdoor adventures, inner Zen in Oregon’s quirky Portland


  • The latest on airline boarding procedures

    If you’re the last to board, then the chances increase that cabin crew will make you gate-check your carry-on bag if the bins are filled by those who boarded ahead of you.


  • Queen Mary ghost tour gets new chilling effects

    This month, the Queen Mary launched an overhauled ghost tour, adding spooky sound effects, ghostly apparitions and inanimate objects rolling and shifting of their own volition.


  • Disneyland is adding 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' scenes to its Star Tours ride

    "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" doesn't open in theaters until Dec. 15, but Disneyland visitors who board a vehicle on the Star Tours attraction can get an early glimpse of scenes from the film.


  • Ghosts live large in Galveston legend

    “Are there really ghosts in this town?” I asked our waitress. She lifted an eyebrow. “Oh, yes,” she replied. “Everywhere.”


  • Lake Tahoe: A place for all powderhounds

    Lake Tahoe isn’t just a ski destination. It’s a way of life — one that attracts both powder-hungry tourists and professional athletes to this scenic area.


  • Shabby motels become cool places to stay

    Around the U.S., hoteliers are turning down-at-the-heels motels -- a national icon of sorts -- into stylish, remarkably upscale accommodations.


  • After Vegas shootings, should hotels have metal detectors?

    That the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, was able to bring to his hotel suite dozens of firearms over a period of days should be a red flag, said San Diego hotel operator Bob Rauch, although he acknowledges that awareness of that can be more challenging in a huge resort property.


  • Uranus: It's growing, and there's fudge

    As soon as the Uranus billboards went up, even before they could make any fudge, people streamed in to buy T-shirts from Uranus. They tittered. They snorted. "Thanks for picking Uranus!" the shopkeepers call out cheerfully.


  • White stuff alert: Here comes the snow

    Though the ski season doesn't officially launch until Thanksgiving, when nighttime temperatures are cold enough to make and keep snow, an early winter could mean a long one.


  • GALLERY

    History and hiking converge at Harpers Ferry

    “The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature,” Thomas Jefferson wrote of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in 1783. “This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” Many appear to have heeded his recommendation.


  • Hiking 500 miles along the Colorado Trail, and awed the entire way

    The bone-deep astonishment at the mountains did not fade, no matter how many passes we crested as the days wore on. The last moments before peering over the top of a climb — the giddy anticipation — became my favorites on the Colorado Trail.


  • Why booking your holiday flight could be more complicated this year

    Complicating the hunt for airline tickets this year are the added options travelers now face when booking travel, including a wider availability of no-frills basic economy fares and bundles of perks that can be purchased for an extra fee.


  • Arizona dude ranch is a family tradition for the ages — all of them

    Four generations of my family have found that a ranch in the Arizona desert offers the ideal mix of respite, natural beauty and activities for all ages to make this quick family getaway a tradition we just can’t kick.


  • See what's new (and old) in Louisville

    It’s a good time to find out what’s new (and old) in Louisville


  • Attractions are open, but the mood is somber in Las Vegas

    Packs of news cameras, police and investigators abound. A memorial with balloons, devotional candles, flowers and signs has materialized near the site on Las Vegas Boulevard.


  • One year after opening, African American museum still the hottest museum ticket in D.C.

    One year after opening, African American museum is the hottest museum ticket in D.C.


  • On the trail of the author of 'Moby-Dick' in 3 New England towns

    A Connecticut-bred literature buff, I made a point this summer of traversing New England's Herman Melville Triangle: Mystic Seaport, the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the author's Berkshire farmhouse, Arrowhead.


  • High-tech Museum of the Bible set to open in November in D.C.

    Although it's dedicated to one solitary book, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., occupies one-fifth the space of the Library of Congress, which has a world record 164 million holdings.


  • Wine lovers strike it rich tasting wine in Sutter Creek

    As we mosey down Sutter Creek's main drag, we're already talking like 49ers. We do declare, it feels like there are more wine-tasting rooms here than ever before.


  • In Ashland, Ore.: See a play, bike a mountain, tour a vineyard

    The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is what draws my family and many other visitors on a pilgrimage to Ashland every year. But Ashland Creek, and Lithia Park (which surrounds the creek much of the way through this pleasant Southern Oregon town) also make visiting a pleasure.


  • CraZanity: Six Flags Magic Mountain will swing you crazy fast at 172 feet in the air

    Six Flags Magic Mountain plans to build a new ride for thrill seekers who have no fear of heights.


  • LA to Santa Monica without a car: Yep, it's possible

    I recently road-tested this idea with such encouraging results that I'm itching to do it again.


  • Woo woo! Chattanooga offers plenty of history, nature, art and fun to keep a family happy

    Growing up in St. Louis, we often drove the family truckster to Florida to visit relatives. And whenever we passed through Chattanooga, my dad belted out a few lines: "Pardon me boy ... is this the Chattanooga Choo Choo?" By the time he forgot the rest of the lyrics, Chattanooga was a glimpse in the rearview mirror. And, perhaps a few decades ago, nobody could fault us for it.


  • Las Vegas wedding industry wants to boost marriage rate

    Matthew and Christi Zenner started planning their wedding in their home state of Washington, but it didn’t take long for them to call it quits. All of the necessary arrangements — from the venue to the guest list — soon became too overwhelming, Christi Zenner said.


  • Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., to thrill year-round

    LOS ANGELES - Good news for thrill seekers: Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and its stomach-churning roller-coaster collection will operate every day of the year, starting Jan. 1. The expansion represents an attempt to transition from a niche regional theme park to a major destination resort like Southern California rivals Universal Studios Hollywood and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.


  • Eight reasons to make Sarasota a Florida destination

    One might be excused for not immediately thinking of Sarasota when planning a Florida getaway. But there are reasons why you should.


  • Boomers are hitting the road to hear the music of their youth

    Baby boomers are digging into their pockets to see their favorite bands — wherever they may be.


  • Call of the Colorado River leads to a family pilgrimage

    When Grandma turned 70, she didn't want a typical party blowout. She wanted a family white-water pilgrimage to the high desert of Utah on the Colorado River.


  • You can't take it with you...

    How to avoid overpacking for a long trip

    Yes, we want clothing options when we travel. But on a long trip, you could be in and out of planes and trains regularly. Who wants to carry more than you need?


  • For travelers, monastery stays offer peace and quiet

    As a non-religious person, I never saw the word retreat fitting into my life. It took spending a night at Holy Wisdom Monastery, a Benedictine monastery outside of Madison, Wisconsin, to realize I’d been missing out.


  • Donald Trump's childhood digs rent for $725 a night

    Looking for a place to rent? Now you can stay at Donald Trump's place.


  • All sales are final at LA County Coroner’s Office gift shop

    In this snug little store, you can get a license-plate holder that says “Coroner,” which might get you a little grace on your parking-meter time. You can get a pin with the department’s seal, a desktop model of a human torso or a red cooler bag that can give the impression that you might be transporting organs.


  • All sales are final at LA County Coroner’s Office gift shop

    In this snug little store, you can get a license-plate holder that says “Coroner,” which might get you a little grace on your parking-meter time. You can get a pin with the department’s seal, a desktop model of a human torso or a red cooler bag that can give the impression that you might be transporting organs.


  • Survey: More than 1 in 5 travelers knowingly or unknowingly carried prohibited items onto aircraft

    A survey of airline passengers found that more than 20 percent had knowingly or unknowingly smuggled prohibited items past Transportation Security Administration checkpoints onto the aircraft, including at least 6 percent who boarded the plane while unintentionally carrying prohibited knives or other bladed objects.


  • Newport, R.I.: Indulge in luxury living and the best of jazz

    If you're looking for a vacation with sights and sounds you won't find elsewhere, Newport, R.I., is hard to beat.


  • A battered World War II hero of Bastogne gets a new home, museum built around it

    "Cobra King," a hallowed, 38-ton U.S. Army legend that was used during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, was installed at the National Museum of the United States Army Thursday. The museum is set to open in late 2019.


  • Quirky charm awaits on Wisconson's winsome Washington Island

    Unlike many island vacation spots, Washington Island — a half-hour ferry ride from Wisconsin's Door County peninsula — takes pride in being quirky.


  • Hi, I'm Todd, and I'm a Disneyholic

    I have a confession to make. I'm addicted to Disney parks. It’s not weird to be a fan of Disney. Just shy of 18 million people visited Disneyland alone last year, and the tourist franchise it spawned has shaped and reflected American pop culture for more than 60 years. And yet I recognize that my habit of visiting Disneyland multiple times each month could be viewed as odd.


  • From bar to barber shop: Visit Hemingway haunts in Northern Michigan

    "You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another," wrote Ernest Hemingway in "The Sun Also Rises." For much of his early years, the novelist didn't move much beyond Oak Park, where he was born, and Northern Michigan, where his family had a vacation cottage. Far from getting away from himself, his experiences there figure into his earliest writing.


  • Virtual reality makeover lets you experience SeaWorld's oldest coaster in new ways

    The latest Florida theme park attraction to open is a remake of an old one: SeaWorld's Kraken roller coaster with a virtual reality plug-in.


  • Legoland California: A parent's best friend

    Legoland California is probably not on your bucket list. It certainly wasn’t on mine. But after my own overnight in the Ninjago Hotel -- among dozens of fantasy sculptures built out of hundreds of thousands of Lego blocks -- I’ve been enlightened.


  • Disney World's Pandora soothes even as it dazzles

    Pandora is a bizarre Zen garden of otherworldly waterfalls, alien birdcalls and floating mountains that imparts a minor tranquilizer effect unlike anything I’ve experienced in other patches of Disney.


  • American Airlines is still shrinking legroom, just not as much

    Instead of cutting two inches of legroom, American Airlines says it will now take away only one inch -- and use a new seat design that it swears will make it feel like there’s more room down there.


  • Oh! The Places You'll Go! Dr. Seuss museum opens

    From the squiggly, pink handrails outside the entrance to the front hall decorated with scenes from “And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street," the new Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum says “You’re off to Great Places!”


  • What are the best beaches in the U.S.? Here are Dr. Beach's picks

    Florida’s Siesta Beach takes first place -- again! -- in Dr. Beach’s Top 10 in America.


  • Can a new killer whale attraction help rescue SeaWorld?

    In addition to Orca Encounter, which will educate its audiences on how killer whales communicate, socialize, hunt and contribute to scientific research projects, the San Diego park will unveil a new area, Ocean Explorer, themed around underwater exploration.


  • Please. No posing with seal pups

    Selfies with seal pups are a no-no.


  • Saldana and Del Toro help open new Disney ‘Guardians’ ride

    Stepping inside Disney’s latest theme park attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT!, is like being thrust into one of blockbuster films’ pulsating, action-packed trailers.


  • New luxury at LAX comes at a price

    For all those celebrities and wealthy travelers who don’t want to wade through the morass of paparazzi and regular passengers, a security company is debuting a unique LAX terminal with an exclusive entrance, luxury suites, well-stocked refrigerators, private bathrooms and even daybeds.


  • Slipping into an ‘Ocean State’ of mind in southern Rhode Island

    Less crowded than New England’s more popular destinations, the southern tip of Rhode Island’s mainland is a bit more affordable and every bit as beautiful.


  • The best airplane bars have leather banquettes, morning programming

    Remember the days when airlines wooed passengers with glamorous offerings like in-flight dining rooms and onboard pianos? Neither do we. But for every carrier that's skimping on legroom (see American Airlines), another seems to emerge with a swanked-up bar.


  • Falling for architecture on Wisconsin's Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

    With their clean, horizontal lines and open floor plans, many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings still feel modern today -- a testament to the ingenuity and staying power of America’s most famous architect, born 150 years ago June 8.


  • A hippie-trippy trip on San Francisco's Magic Bus Tour

    San Francisco's Magic Bus tour takes guests through the city's hippie history -- and back to that famous, hallucinogenic Summer of Love. All without dropping any (real) acid. They give you peppermint candies for make-believe LSD.


  • Get the most out of your next Disney World vacation

    Ian Ford is a family travel expert and CEO of Undercover Tourist, providing attraction tickets and vacation advice for a living. He also has some tips for those planning to visit the parks this summer, including ways to pinch pennies and have the type of idyllic, fun-packed theme park experience every family dreams of.

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