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New York states of mind

Travel / Travel News /

It seems fitting to quote lyrics from Leonard Bernstein's 1944 Broadway musical "On The Town," considering that this year is the centenary of his blessed birth: particularly so, since I just spent four days in New York. So here it goes: "New York, New York, a helluva town, The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down."

Although I've visited New York...Read more

Joyeux Noel: How France celebrates Christmas

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

As it is in so many places, Christmas in France is all about family, friends and food. While it's generally a low-key affair marked by gatherings of relatives and treats for children, it also has the culinary high point of the year: Le Reveillon de Noel (Christmas Eve dinner).

The season officially starts on December 6...Read more

CelebrityTravel: Go Away With Josh Duhamel

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Josh Duhamel won't deny that big cities can be glamorous and fun to explore. But when he isn't working, his haven is his cabin just outside of Fargo, North Dakota. "It is probably my favorite place to relax, clear my mind and get my hands dirty," says the actor, who was born and raised in Minot, N.D. "It's also a place where I can bring my boy ...Read more

Where to stay, eat and play along the Mississippi River? Book on Great River Road tells all

Travel / Travel News /

Dean Klinkenberg stopped counting the miles he's cruised on the Great River Road when he hit 120,000. "I wore out one car, and I'm working on wearing out another," said the author of the recently released "Road Tripping Along the Great River Road."

For this former Minnesotan, every drive along the Mississippi feeds his love for the river -- and...Read more

Around the World: Mexico’s Colorful Christmas Posadas

Travel / Around the World /

If you’ve got the impression that Christmas in Mexico isn’t white, you’re absolutely right. It’s anything but.

The climate is too warm for snow, and Mexican Christmas celebrations are among the most colorful in the world. Actually, the Mexican people are famous for their love of ‘fiestas,’ and the more colorful the...Read more

In this Cleveland hall, classical music is king (and ancient Egypt meets the jazz age)

Travel / Travel News /

CLEVELAND -- Above, the ceiling was done up in silver, beige and blue like frosting on a wedding cake. Below, at the lip of the stage, a tall man in a black suit and white bow tie leaned forward with a tip.

"This is going to be something," said Mark Jackobs, one of the Cleveland Orchestra's viola players. "This is a freight train."

Jackobs, ...Read more

See rock and polka too

Travel / Travel News /

Classical music, bread and water are all some people need. But if your appetites range more widely, Cleveland stands ready with rock and polka, beer and pirogis.

First, the rock. Before you step into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a plaque explains the city's claim on rock history: Alan Freed, a Cleveland disc jockey, popularized the phrase in ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Gathering for the holidays

Travel / Taking The Kids /

No drama! Is that possible when the family is gathering for the holidays? It's hard enough when you are gathering at someone's home (or yours!) and you have the stress of keeping guests happy -- or being a guest. (Can the kids manage to not spill anything on the white couch?)

It can be worse when everyone has high expectations for the long-...Read more

Branson: Brighter than ever this Christmas

Travel / Travel News /

Long popular as Midwest America's go-to place for country music, Branson, Mo., is staking its claim as home to the most spectacular and longest-running Christmas celebration of the 2018 holiday season.

At the center of all the excitement is Silver Dollar City, the Ozark Mountain town's omnipresent 100-acre 1880s-era theme park. On Nov. 3, it ...Read more

Portsmouth defies the notion of cookie cutter with its history, scenery, cuisine

Travel / Travel News /

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- It was love at first sight. As one all too accustomed to America's obsession with a standardized urban design -- every other block decorated with a Rite Aid, Panera, Starbucks and McDonald's -- Portsmouth came as a breath ... no, make that a gust of fresh air.

This port city on the Piscataqua River and just a few miles from ...Read more

Sicilian surprises in Palermo

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

One thing I enjoy about my work is getting my outdated impressions back up to date. Europe is always changing -- and recently I discovered that Sicily's capital of Palermo has become a whole new city since my last visit. It's cleaner, safer and more efficient than it was in years past. But it still retains its colorful edge -- and that's why I ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Martha Higareda

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Born and raised in Mexico, actress Martha Higareda ("Altered Carbon," "No Manches Frida") currently is based out of Marina del Rey, California, though she notes, "I live (out of) a suitcase most of the time." When she's at home, she enjoys taking weekend getaways to Napa, for food and wine. "But since I love adventure too, I love jumping on a ...Read more

'It's a Wonderful Life' — all December — in this New York town

Travel / Travel News /

Early each December, a magical transformation takes place in Seneca Falls, N.Y., as the classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" leaps off the screen.

The word "Bedford" replaces "Seneca" on signs marking the city limits.

The tavern at The Gould Hotel becomes "Martini's."

Along Fall Street, the main drag, George Bailey shouts, "Merry ...Read more

At Epcot: Guardians of the Galaxy, Ratatouille, IllumiNations

Travel / Travel News /

MIAMI--Disney has started to fill in some of the details of a makeover of Epcot that will be going on for years: more spectacle, more interactive entertainment, more cutting-edge technology that will give us not just a glimpse of fantasy worlds but immerse us in them.

The company still has not revealed the big picture, but recently, between the...Read more

Around the World: ‘Tis The Time to Book for Germany’s Christmas Markets!

Travel / Around the World /

Now is the perfect time to book your holiday travel, and a most wonderful seasonal destination is Germany, where Christmas is celebrated with marvelous traditional markets in almost every town.

In fact, there are hundreds of local Christmas markets, each offering a unique collection of local handcrafts, seasonal foods and ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Eating your way through Italy

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Drum roll, please! As the cheese master takes his small hammer to the gigantic wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano.

We are in a small factory, Consorzio Produttori Latte Baganzolino, in Parma, Italy, where the way to ensure the region's famous cheese is up to snuff is by making sure it is solid, that there are no breaks or air pockets inside the ...Read more

Specialized tours enrich travel

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

When I arrive in a new city, I book a private guide straightaway -- someone who can bring the architecture, history and culture to life. Lately, in the spirit of experiential sightseeing, I've been taking specialized tours that highlight unique, local experiences or historical themes. Particularly in big cities, I've found all kinds of focused ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Amber Liu

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

As part of the group f(x), Amber Liu has grown used to performing worldwide. But this winter marks her first ever solo tour, to promote her mixtape "Rogue Rouge." Her Gone Rogue tour kicks off December 5 in Chicago. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the singer-songwriter splits her time between L.A. and Seoul. The Taiwanese American...Read more

Can spending 72 hours in Minnesota's woods decrease stress? We tested the idea

Travel / Travel News /

"What I didn't expect was to feel so completely in the moment," Laura said.

My friend and I were walking along a forest path and had stopped to photograph lichens on a fallen branch. Behind us, the Cross River burbled toward Lake Superior. The sun broke through clouds. We'd just spent nearly an hour on a rocky beach watching salmon spawn and ...Read more

Around the World: Brussels’ Iconic Mini-monument: Manniken Pis

Travel / Around the World /

Every European capital has its must-see monumental landmarks. London has is famous for Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, Paris boasts the Eiffel Tower and Arch de Triomphe, and Rome has the remarkable Colosseum and Vatican City.

But at the heart of the European Union, Brussels has a most unusual signature landmark that ...Read more

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