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Europe's great walled towns

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

As a kid, my treehouse was my castle: no parents reining me in, a ladder that pulled up, and nails sticking down through the ceiling -- just long enough to keep out bullies taller than me. With my sliding tongue-in-groove panels, I could see who was coming. My refuge was the envy of other little kings.

The treehouse is long gone, but I can ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Piper Perabo

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Since starring in the film "Coyote Ugly," Piper Perabo has kept busy adding to a long resume of movies and television work. After five seasons as CIA operative Annie Walker on USA Network's "Covert Affairs," Perabo now stars as a TV news producer in the new ABC series, "Notorious." An avid traveler, the actress credits her trips for getting her ...Read more

Around the World: See New England’s Fall Foliage By Boat

Travel / Around the World /

If you’re hankering for a doable get away during this humdrum before the year end holidays, think about seeking out and seeing the glories of Fall foliage. And, for the best Fall foliage, think about New England.

Mother Nature‘s annual change of palette takes place in wilderness areas around the world, but few ...Read more

Downgraded on American Airlines, but no refund

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I had round-trip tickets to fly from Cleveland to Bangor, Maine, via Philadelphia on American Airlines recently. Three of the four flights were in first class. I paid a total of $957.

American made unrequested changes to my flights several times, resulting in a downgrade to economy class for all but one leg. There was no offer of a refund ...Read more

Taking the Kids: The future of kids' clubs

Travel / Taking The Kids /

The Driscolls' vacation every year with extended family at a family-centric resort or on a cruise line known for morning-till-night supervised kids' activities. But the five kids -- all eight and under -- rarely take part in organized kids' programs.

"The cousins entertain each other," said Anna Driscoll, playing in a resort pool with the ...Read more

Brew-ha-ha: Biking to breweries in Boise

Travel / Travel News /

BOISE, Idaho -- You've got to love a little Kickstarter-funded brewery such as Boise Brewing, with a mezzanine where you can sip an IPA and play foosball while beer is brewing in stainless-steel tanks below you.

And what's not to like about the 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt, a system of paved riverfront biking trails through the city's center ...Read more

December Cruising: Fun, Cheap and Accessible

Travel / Around the World /

If you’ve been saving up to go on your dream cruise, this December is a great time to
sail away. Fact is, there are some incredible cruise deals to be had, so if you’ve got
the money, get up and go--even if you’d originally planned to wait until after the holidays. Cruising is tremendously relaxing and ...Read more

Confessions of a Monoglot

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

While it's nothing to brag about, I am a miserable linguist. I got into the University of Washington, which required two years of a foreign language, thanks to an intensive summer French class at a local community college.

It was probably the worst month of my life. The eight ways the French pronounce "uh" pretty much broke my spirit. But I ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Sterling K. Brown

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Though Sterling K. Brown has been acting for 15 years, he earned "overnight sensation" status with his Emmy-winning performance as Chris Darden in the FX miniseries, "The People v. O.J. Simpson." He returns to television in the new NBC series "This Is Us," which premieres on Sept. 20. The actor also will appear in the films "...Read more

Help! CheapOair misspelled the name on my airline ticket

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I recently booked a flight from Frankfurt to Orlando, Florida, using CheapOair. I spoke with a representative at an Indian call center, who helped me make the reservation.

The booking number was issued under the name of Jutta Monica Baumgaster. The correct spelling should have been "Jutta Monica Baumgarten." Ongoing email and telephone ...Read more

Theme parks bring in Hollywood producers and giant terror-filled mazes for Halloween

Travel / Travel News /

LOS ANGELES -- Halloween is growing so big, it's scary.

To crank up the fright levels, Universal Studios Hollywood is employing directors and producers of creepy movies and television series to help create new attractions for this year's Halloween celebration.

Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia has expanded its annual spookfest by an extra ...Read more

When skiing is sheer bliss

Travel / Travel News /

BASALT, Colo. -- Winter was still in charge when we spotted them, raggedy brown patches staining the snow at Snowmass Ski Resort, in central Colorado's Pritkin County. In any other year we might have been greeted by mounds of powder on the Cirque, with a generous swath under Sheer Bliss, our favorite chairlift. The basics, indeed, for a last-of-...Read more

Taking the Kids: 10 fall festivals for families

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Who gets the prize? Who can pick the most apples or find the biggest pumpkin?

There are literally hundreds of Octoberfests around the country this fall -- some kid-friendly -- but there are also plenty of apple, pumpkin and harvest festivals from which to choose. You can stomp on grapes in Sonoma County, California, trail the sheep in Idaho or ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With J.T. Snow

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

When former San Francisco Giant J.T. Snow retired from baseball, he knew what he wanted to do in the next phase of his life. The six-time Golden Glove recipient and his sister, Stephanie Snow Gebel, started the Jack and J.T. Snow Scientific Research Foundation, which supports diabetes research. (Former...Read more

First trip to Europe? What to expect

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

If you're planning your first trip to Europe, congratulations! Learning about the world through travel is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Things are different in Europe -- that's why you go. But every first-timer has concerns about getting along in an unfamiliar place. Travelers are worried or curious about everything from bed sizes ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Frances England

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Traveling the world is an incredible experience, but San Francisco-based musician Frances England says that there's also adventure to be found in your own backyard. On her latest CD "Explorer of the World," the songwriter features songs that include snippets of sounds she recorded when she took walks around her local neighborhoods. To read more ...Read more

Around the World: Enjoy Oktoberfest!

Travel / Around the World /

If you pass by your local Hofbrauhaus and hear boisterous celebratory sounds echoing from within, you’re more than likely brushing up against Oktoberfest, the annual fall revelry for those who love great beer and food and camaraderie.

Oktoberfest is a popular tradition that originated in Germany--or, to be more ...Read more

Beliefs aside, Noah's Ark in Kentucky is something to see

Travel / Travel News /

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. -- I'd been on Noah's Ark all of 20 minutes when the question that hung over every step was finally put to me: "Do you believe?"

It came from a man with a thin beard named Travis, who wore a Captain America T-shirt and had an excitable look in his eye. He was touring the new, five-story Ark Encounter with his wife and ...Read more

Pearl Harbor attack's 75th anniversary is less memory, more memorial

Travel / Travel News /

Most people alive today recall the dreadful day of Sept. 11, 2001, when the twin towers fell in New York.

Far fewer of us can personally remember Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese, killing 2,043 Americans and pulling the U.S. into World War II.

The 75th anniversary of that event is this year. While more ...Read more

My seat upgrade disappeared, but Lufthansa kept my money

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I need your help with a Lufthansa seat upgrade that wasn't delivered as promised. I planned to fly from San Francisco to Bangalore, India, via Frankfurt on United Airlines and Lufthansa. I paid $275 on the Lufthansa website for an upgrade to premium economy on my flight from Frankfurt to Bangalore, but could not upgrade because it was a ...Read more