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Taking the Kids -- holiday gifts for your favorite little traveler (and big ones, too)

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Let's hear it for gift cards!

I know many think they're the holiday-gift-of-last-resort, but when the card is chosen wisely, it just might turn out to be the most appreciated gift of the season. And browsing online can give everyone something to do after all the gifts are opened.

For example, if your favorite young travelers are heading to ...Read more

Discovering 'undiscovered' Hamburg

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Germany's second-largest city, Hamburg, is awash with history -- from emigration to World War II to the Beatles. It's also a thriving 21st-century metropolis with an inviting harbor boardwalk, avant-garde architecture and Las Vegas-style nightlife. Every visit here makes me wonder why so many Americans skip it. I love this city.

Even though it'...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Jose Andres

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Chef Jose Andres was no novice to helping people who suffered catastrophes. After Hurricanes Sandy and Harvey, he worked with local chefs to help feed the survivors. But those events didn't prepare him for the devastation he saw when he landed in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit. Working with his nonprofit World Central Kitchen and local ...Read more

Construction noise ruined my Sandals vacation in Barbados

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: I am writing to you as we have had a poor experience with Sandals Resorts. The week of June 4, my husband and I stayed at its resort in Barbados.

Major construction was going on at the resort. The construction had been ongoing and was not disclosed to me. It carried on from early in the morning until dinner time. There was not a location at ...Read more

Taking the Kids: NYC and beyond Manhattan during holiday season

Travel / Taking The Kids /

It all started with some construction workers trying to cheer everyone up during the holidays when times were especially hard. That was December 1931 -- at the height of the Great Depression. Those lucky to be working on the Rockefeller Center construction site pooled their money to buy a 20-foot-high Christmas tree decorated with...Read more

Dublin's big-city sights and Irish charm

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

As the capital of the country that gets my vote for the friendliest in the European Union, Dublin is a sightseer's delight: It's safe, thriving and extremely accessible. Dubliners are energetic and helpful, and visitors enjoy a big-town cultural scene wrapped up in a small-town smile.

Part of the reason Ireland is one of my favorite ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Sam Heughan

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Before moving to London at the age of 22, Sam Heughan studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The Scottish actor has returned to his roots to portray Jamie Fraser on the hit Starz series, "Outlander," which is filmed in Scotland. Based out ...Read more

New water taxi service lets you cruise South Florida's coast

Travel / Travel News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--A new water taxi service will allow you to sightsee from the mansions in Lighthouse Point to the condo canyons of Hallandale Beach.

But be prepared for a leisurely tour -- between transfers and wait times, it will take you a full day to do so, the service operators say.

The Pompano Beach Water Taxi will open to the ...Read more

Minnesota's Hungry Hippie Hostel satiates North Shore travelers

Travel / Travel News /

The candy-apple red barn sits on a hillside above Lake Superior, with panoramic views of the North Shore. On a recent fall weekend, the bright setting sun lit up the golden leaves of aspens as hostel guests arrived.

"Oh, wow," a Minneapolis woman said, gushing as co-owner Kate Keeble showed her to her room during a fall-color sightseeing trip. ...Read more

Double-charged for my hotel, but not by choice

Travel / Christopher Elliott /

Q: The Comfort Inn & Suites Knoxville West is charging me for two rooms, even though I had a reservation for only one room. I need some help getting this sorted out.

I had made the booking through Orbitz. When I checked in, a hotel representative claimed that I had two rooms reserved. I explained that I had a reservation for only one room.

I ...Read more

Milwaukee: More than just beer here

Travel / Travel News /

MILWAUKEE -- "Arrived in Milwaukee. Found beer," my social media post said. Because honestly, beer is about the only thing I knew about the city. And make no mistake, beer is big there. You can tour any one of more than a dozen breweries, see the mansion that Pabst built, the ballpark that Miller built. But to say Milwaukee is all about beer is ...Read more

Taking the Kids: A special new style trip as a gift

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Let's hear it for a gift that will illicit smiles and heart-felt "thank yous," that no one will want to return and even better, will still be appreciated long after the holidays are over.

No such gift exists? Of course it does. It's the gift of a trip together, but not just any trip, a custom adventure designed for your group, based on their ...Read more

Healdsburg, in heart of California wine country, is open for business

Travel / Travel News /

The signs are everywhere, and their messages simple. "Thank you, firefighters," reads one, "God bless." "Thank you for saving our town," reads another.

And another, "Thank you, firefighters, police, EMTs, first responders, and volunteers." Then finally, one that is more prevalent than the others, "The love in the air is thicker than the smoke."...Read more

Lake Tahoe must-see: Gorgeous Emerald Bay

Travel / Travel News /

If you can imagine the shoreline of Lake Tahoe as a glittery necklace, Emerald Bay would be its most radiant jewel.

No first-time visit to the area is complete without spending some time around this gorgeous body of water situated on the western edge of Tahoe's most southern point. You can cruise into it -- and around tiny Fannette Island -- ...Read more

Los Angeles: 5 great places to see art

Travel / Travel News /

Not long ago, Hollywood film premieres and private parties dominated Los Angeles' social landscape. Now the city's power brokers and celebrities lavish attention and money on exhibition openings and promoting great art -- which is to the benefit of everyone else. Here are five of L.A.'s top spots for viewing world-class art:

Los Angeles County ...Read more

Lake Tahoe: 2 scenic aerial rides take you to new heights

Travel / Travel News /

It's one thing to enjoy the beauty of the Lake Tahoe region from the ground. It's quite another to make like a bird and rise above it all.

Here are two invigorating, gasp-inducing rides that will take you to great heights.

1. Heavenly Mountain Gondola

The lake stretches out beneath you as you soar into the sky in an eight-passenger cabin that...Read more

Lake Tahoe: 3 great places to try snowshoeing

Travel / Travel News /

Are you up for something different? Slip your feet into a pair of snowshoes.

Snowshoeing has become increasingly popular in recent years and the good news is that, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoeing doesn't have the substantial learning curve that comes with cross-country skiing -- just lift those knees! It's a great way to explore ...Read more

Los Angeles: 4 great beaches

Travel / Travel News /

In Los Angeles, it's beach weather all year-round. But in January you don't have to compete with nearly as many people for prime towel spots. All L.A.-area beaches are managed by the California State Parks Department, sometimes in cooperation with county or city governments.

1. Santa Monica: Santa Monica State Beach celebrates America's love ...Read more

Around the World: Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Glorious Fireworks

Travel / Around the World /

Wherever in the world you happen to be heading for this coming New Year’s Eve, you can start 2018 with a great big celebratory bang by incorporating great fireworks viewing into your party schedule.

This year, as every year, there are numerous choices of destinations for people who want to experience the thrill of thunderous...Read more

Christmas in Switzerland is a peak experience

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

High in Switzerland, the mighty Alps seem to shout the glory of God. Up here, the Christmas season fills a winter wonderland with good cheer. I'll never forget the holiday I spent in the village of Gimmelwald in mountainous central Switzerland, where old traditions remain strong.

In Swiss villages like this, home windows serve as life-size ...Read more