Home & Leisure



Comfort and company in Europe's cafes and pubs

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

After a busy day in Vienna, I like to retreat to a striped velvet couch at the renowned Cafe Hawelka. The decor here is circa-1900, with smoke-and-coffee-stained furniture, walls adorned in paintings by struggling artists (who couldn't pay for coffee), and a phone that rings for regulars. This creaky Viennese institution, where intellectuals ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Joanna Going

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Asked to pick a favorite destination, Joanna Going didn't hesitate: Newport (Rhode Island), where she grew up. "When I was 18, I took it for granted and was eager to move on to the bigger cities like Boston and then New York," says the Los Angeles-based actress. "But I've been to enough places to have gained a greater appreciation for the beauty...Read more

Around the World: A Hudson River adventure aboard the Sloop Mystic Whaler

Travel / Around the World /

It’s a beautiful day for sailing. Blue skies and a good breeze.

As the bell rings and rope are cast off, the tall ship “Sloop Mystic Whaler ” slips away from her mooring at NYC’s 79th Street Boat Basin, angles into the flow of the Hudson River and begins to move downstream.

Almost immediately, the captain and crew, ...Read more

Confused with the other weiner

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Alitalia loses Ellen Weiner's luggage. Then it gives it to another passenger named Weiner. Why can't the airline sort it out?

Q: I have been attempting to get reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses from Alitalia, and I'm hoping you can help.

The problem started when Alitalia checked me in as the wrong passenger on a flight from Miami to Rome to...Read more

Sponsors going along for the ride at theme parks

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- When Walt Disney opened his famed Anaheim park in 1955, he turned to corporate sponsors to keep construction and operation costs under budget.

That helps explain why two of the original attractions were the less-than-thrilling Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, sponsored by the agrochemical giant, and the Aluminum Hall of Fame, ...Read more

On the cusp of Euro Cup, succumb to soccer fever

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

I'd always wanted to go to a soccer ("football" to Europeans) game in Europe, and a few years ago I finally did it ... courtesy of local hotelier I knew in Rome. The game pitted the home team Roma against Fiorentina (Florence's team).

Converging on the stadium, Stefano parked on a curb (tipping a couple of thugs to watch -- or maybe just not ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Allison Amend

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Author Allison Amend took her first trip as a baby, studied for a year at a Barcelona high school and came home speaking Catalan and then -- after graduating from Stanford University -- moved to Lyon (France) on a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. Now based out of New York City, Amend, 41, counts the Big Apple, Chicago and Barcelona as three of her...Read more

Around the World: Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage

Travel / Around the World /

A thunderous crack off the starboard bow alerts us that a huge ice block, almost as large as our ship, is breaking off the glacier. The new iceberg crashes into the water, then bobs up and down in the sea and drifts toward the mouth of the aptly named bay.

We’re traversing the Inside Passage, that part of Alaska which ...Read more

Damage bill from Hertz not justified

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I am writing to you today regarding a damage claim I have received from Hertz. I rented a car from the Maui Airport Hertz location earlier this year. I did not do an initial walk-through with an agent to check for damage. Upon my return, I circled the car with a Hertz attendant and returned it in perfect form, and off I went.

Three weeks ...Read more

Alamo is still one of the most iconic images of America's past

Travel / Travel News /

SAN ANTONIO -- It was, quite honestly, a bucket-list side trip.

That's why we detoured to San Antonio on our return from Austin to Houston, to see the home of the Alamo.

Yes, that Alamo, the historic one-time Catholic mission celebrated in Texas history, on television and in movies by Fess Parker, John Wayne and Billy Bob Thornton.

I'm glad ...Read more

North Carolina's Land of Oz opening its enchanted gates for four days

Travel / Travel News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Beech Mountain's historic Land of Oz park will reopen for four Fridays in June with guided tours down its famed Yellow Brick Road by Dorothy Gale of rural Kansas.

Land of Oz was an amusement park in the 1970s and is still rented out for weddings, parties and group picnics. For four Fridays in June, it entertains visitors and ...Read more

Beach butler? Surfing safari? Orange County's beach hotels get creative with their offerings

Travel / Travel News /

Don't want to haul umbrellas and chairs to the sand? Don't worry, a beach butler will do it for you.

Too much trouble to claim a fire ring and sit by it all day? If you're staying at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa in Southern California, you can have the hotel set up a personalized fire ring for you and your friends, complete ...Read more

Appreciating Dutch cliches

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

When you consider Dutch culture, you can't help but think about dikes, windmills, wooden shoes and tulips. They seem cliche, but these classic icons intertwine with the region's geography and history.

Much of the country is below sea level, reclaimed with great effort over many generations from the North Sea. That's why the Dutch people like to...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Andi Dorfman

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Raised in Georgia, Andi Dorfman worked as an assistant district attorney in Atlanta, before she was selected as one of the contestants on "The Bachelor." Later, she starred in a season of "The Bachelorette," where she became engaged to one of the men vying for her attention. Like most of the relationships on the series, theirs didn't last. In ...Read more

Wind your way through Delta's nooks, crannies on a houseboat

Travel / Travel News /

Whether you crave the respite of serene waters or the thrill of adventuring unknown expanses, a houseboating trip along the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta promises an enjoyable vacation.

Unlike many local, well-frequented houseboating alternatives – such as Lake Powell and Shasta Lake – the Delta offers more than 1,000 square miles of ...Read more

Disneyland's historic Skyway station to be demolished to make way for 'Star Wars' land

Travel / Travel News /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- As Disneyland heads into the future with "Star Wars" land, the park is letting go of some of its past.

Disneyland officials have filed a permit with the city to demolish the Skyway Chalet in Fantasyland, once one of two endpoints for open-air gondolas that floated via cables over the park beginning in 1956.

Visitors hopped ...Read more

Beyond Cannery Row: Exploring Monterey, without the crowds

Travel / Travel News /

MONTEREY, Calif. -- "So imagine this filled with tables and people, there's mariachi music from the stage, the wine is flowing," explained Michael D. Green, a park ranger and enthusiastic tour guide, waving his arm across the flower-filled Memory Garden in the courtyard behind California's first Custom House.

Green is describing "La Merienda," ...Read more

Jack London State Historic Park, 100 years after he died

Travel / Travel News /

GLEN ELLEN, Calif.--Rain fell. Nothing major, certainly not on the level of an Old Testament gully washer. Just a steady, spitting splatter of linked hydrogen and hydroxyl ions that turned the ground squishy and made you want to nominate the inventor of Gor-Tex for a Nobel.

This weather, however, apparently was inclement enough to call off a ...Read more

Skip the airport, get dropped off at a Key West resort's pier in luxury seaplane package

Travel / Travel News /

Why fly all the way to an airport when you can just get dropped off in your hotel's backyard?

Luxury travelers looking to stay at Key West's Casa Marina resort now have that option. The hotel is the first in Key West to offer the exclusive experience, which includes airfare for two guests on a seaplane from most Florida airports directly to the...Read more

Around the World: Travel Healthier With These Simple and Easy Precautions

Travel / Around the World /

In response, I pointed out that we were going to big modern cities in a country with an advanced medical system, and that I didn’t plan to get any shots, not even boosters.

But, since she seemed worried sick by the thought of hospitalization in a foreign land, I advised her to consult with her personal physician, or with a ...Read more