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France for rookies

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

In Paris last June, I kept running into a delightful woman from Indiana on her first trip there. Wonderstruck by the city's charms, she was doing everything right -- picking up French words, conversing with every local she could, and enjoying the great artistic and cultural experiences.

To get the most out of France, it's essential to connect ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Chelsey Crisp

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Though Chelsey Crisp is a scene stealer for her portrayal of Honey on ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat," the actress says she often goes unrecognized when walking around with her husband, screenwriter Rhett Reese. "It takes hair and makeup a long time to turn me into Honey," Crisp said, laughing. "I'm very pale, so they have to put a tan on me and make...Read more

Toy Story Land, Fast & Furious opening soon in Disney, Universal

Travel / Travel News /

Remember that moment in the original "Toy Story" movie when Buzz Lightyear climbs into the Claw vending machine at Planet Pizza, Woody goes in to rescue him and they disappear under the three-eyed toy aliens? The Claw descends to grab one of the little green aliens, and they reverently explain that the Claw is their master.

That scene was the ...Read more

Taking the Kids: To Berlin

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Reconciliation and forgiveness can work. That's hard to believe with so much dysfunction in our government, which is why it's all the more important to remind our kids that reconciliation can work -- beautifully.

And there's no better place to see that than in Berlin where the Berlin Wall, as of last month, has been down longer than it was up. ...Read more

Looking for Hawaiian rainbows? Start with a tour of the Big Island's waterfalls

Travel / Travel News /

HILO, Hawaii -- The first time you fly into the Kona Coast on Hawaii's Big Island, you'll be struck by two things: the nearly relentless sunshine (moderated by volcanic smoke that locals call "vog") and the vast, barren fields of black lava rock stretching northward, more testimony to this island's active volcanoes.

The first time you cross the...Read more

Ljubljana: An underrated gem in the heart of Europe

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Tiny Slovenia -- wedged between the Alps and the Adriatic -- is one of Eastern Europe's most unexpectedly delightful destinations. Located where the Germanic, Mediterranean and Slavic worlds come together, its capital, Ljubljana, enjoys a happy hodgepodge of cultures but remains relatively undiscovered. Walking through its cobbled Old Town, you'...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Chandler Kinney

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Born and raised in California, Chandler Kinney resides in the Los Angeles area. Best known for her portrayal of Damon Wayans' daughter, Riana Murtaugh, on the Fox series "Lethal Weapon," the actress is active on social media, including Twitter ( and Instagram (...Read more

Around the World: Oberammergau’s Traditional Passion Play is a Travel Must!

Travel / Around the World /

Few of our civilization’s regularly scheduled events can claim to have been ongoing since 1674!  And, you can bet that any event that can accurately make that claim has got to be absolutely spectacular.

For one thing, all the generations of people who’ve been participating in it must be convinced that the event is ...Read more

Walking in Memphis, visitors retrace Martin Luther King Jr.'s footsteps

Travel / Travel News /

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shortly after noon, as Sunday services at Memphis' abundant churches conclude, another gathering of the faithful is getting underway at a restaurant popular for its soul food.

"Hi, welcome to The Four Way," owner Patrice Thompson greets every customer, often in quick succession.

Many dressed in their Sunday best, the diners ...Read more

Sacramento plays its role well in 'Lady Bird' film

Travel / Travel News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- "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 ...Read more

Tourism slump continues in Las Vegas months after mass shooting

Travel / Travel News /

Las Vegas tourism leaders revived the famous "What happens here, stays here" slogan three months after a mass shooting on the Strip, but gaming revenue and visitation numbers remain depressed in the tourist destination.

In January, total visitation to the city dropped 3.3 percent, while gaming revenue from the Strip slumped by 8.89 percent, the...Read more

Taking the Kids: Spring break, without busting the budget

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Here's the good news: It's not too late. It's not too late to book a spring break, whether for a week or a long weekend.

The kids have been coming home whining about where all their friends are going, but you've been too busy to plan anything and perhaps too worried about spending the money. The other good news: If you plan smart, you might ...Read more

Option of first resort: beachfront business trip in Miami

Travel / Travel News /

Google Maps and the unforgiving female voice on my Garmin GPS device were having yet another disagreement: Google said I should go south via I-95, but my windshield-mounted scold (whose favorite word is recalculating) said Biscayne Boulevard was the preferred route this time. It was high season in Miami, and rush-hour traffic was compressed into...Read more

Big Sky bliss

Travel / Travel News /

Lounging in a sleeping bag on a cot in a tepee, fully clothed and bundled up, my cowboy boots kicked off on the warm wooden floor, I've been journaling and listening to the ever-changing Montana weather make music on my tent. The wind whistles through the flaps. The rain taps a rhythm on the canvas. The dramatic, fast-moving Montana cloudscape ...Read more

Culture vulture, foodie gets her fix in New York City

Travel / Travel News /

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 ...Read more

Searching for moose, and dinner, in northern Minnesota

Travel / Travel News /

"Good luck seeing moose," the clerk at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais, Minn., called out as my sister and I left the store. "Dusk is the perfect time."

It was 5 p.m., and pink clouds hovered over silvery Lake Superior as we embarked on a classic wintertime drive, following the Gunflint Trail on the hunt for dinner and a moose.

...Read more

Hawaii-bound? A first-timer's guide to thrills, chills on Kauai

Travel / Travel News /

KAUAI, Hawaii -- As I hurtled through the sky above a sprawling valley, in view of sapphire waves and verdant mountain slopes, the wind was whipping past me and my eyes were streaming tears.

My lips were peeled back, I was yelling incomprehensibly and my brain was blaring, "This could be the end."

But let me begin at the beginning, before I ...Read more

How I lived it up in Vegas without breaking the bank

Travel / Travel News /

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 --...Read more

Universal Studios Hollywood raises daily ticket prices 7 percent

Travel / Travel News /

Only two weeks after Disneyland increased daily ticket prices nearly 9 percent, the theme park's biggest Southern California rival, Universal Studios Hollywood, raised daily ticket prices by more than 7 percent.

The cost of a peak-demand daily ticket for Universal Studios Hollywood was boosted late last month to $129 from $120 at the front gate...Read more

Europe's best border-busting day trips

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

With borders so close and transportation a delight, it's easy to throw a change of scenery and culture into your European itinerary. Here are some of my favorite cross-border day trips.

London to Paris. Zipping on the bullet train from London to Paris (or vice versa), deep below the English Channel (a.k.a. "Chunnel"), is exciting -- and takes ...Read more