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Big Sur's Highway 1 southern route to open in late July

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BIG SUR, Calif. -- The entire coastal stretch of California's iconic Highway 1 will re-open at the end of July, restoring a beloved but fragile route from San Francisco to Los Angeles that has been closed for more than a year, the California Department of Transportation announced last week.

Construction on the Mud Creek section of southern Big ...Read more

Following in footsteps — or wagon ruts — of American history on Oregon Trail

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A cold wind from the Blue Mountains carries the scent of sagebrush as it whips your face. Each step stirs dust on the dry path in this high desert plateau in eastern Oregon, where hundreds of thousands of American pioneers walked, changing the course of history.

A roadside sign beneath Flagstaff Hill points the way to this path, where you can ...Read more

A weekend in Wenatchee with rose, Mariachi music, and a farmer who feeds the world

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A pair of large dogs, too old to be bothered with actually getting up, wag their tails in eager welcome from recumbent positions in the foyer. We're early, and Ludger Szmania, co-owner of Warm Springs Inn & Winery along with his partner Julie Szmania, is busy mowing the lawn. These two adorable pups are the first to welcome me and my partner, ...Read more

Disneyland adds blackouts

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Already struggling with crowding problems, Disneyland resort officials have long hinted that they will be forced to add restrictions to deal with the surge of crowds when a Star Wars land opens next summer.

The first attempt at controlling the expected throngs was announced recently as the resort added blackout dates -- thus cutting access -- ...Read more

Myscha Theriault: Lewes, Del., a uniquely American beach getaway

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If you're looking for a quiet weekend beach getaway that lets you skip the tacky trinket shops and overdeveloped strip in favor of quaint coastal charm, an intriguing history going back to the United States' earliest days and a surprisingly well-developed shopping scene, there's a tiny town in southern Delaware that might be just what the travel...Read more

Luxury log cabins, 'National Lampoon' references make this small Kansas town cool

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An innkeeper, a Swiss banker and a journalist walk into a restaurant in Coolidge, Kan.

That's not the lead-up to some oddball joke -- that's just what happened this month in this little town near the Colorado state line.

Way out in far western Kansas -- that little sliver of the state in Mountain Time Zone -- Coolidge has become a quaint stop ...Read more

Diving into Western art at Colorado's Cloud Camp

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Here's the thing about Western art. Like rattlesnake steaks and Rocky Mountain oysters, it's an acquired taste. If your great-grandparents crossed the mountains in a covered wagon or homesteaded west of the Missouri River, it could be in your genes.

But when a friend from Connecticut scoffed at the genre's two most ...Read more

Come sail away at this fun northern Minnesota resort on Lake Vermilion

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Gliding across northern Minnesota's Lake Vermilion on a sleek, deluxe racing sailboat known as an A-scow is like any other lake-sailing experience -- only with the adrenaline cranked up to 10.

My group of four friends, along with 4-year-old twin girls, were seated on the starboard deck of Pehrson Lodge Resort's fearsome 38-foot flagship, dubbed...Read more

Bismarck beckons with revitalized downtown, new breweries — and butterhorns

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BISMARCK, N.D. -- The state capital of North Dakota feels more like a small town than a surly legislative city.

It's the kind of place where people smile at you when you walk down the street. Stop to ask them a question, and you'll likely get an answer along with some hospitable banter about the weather.

In this town of roughly 72,000, no one ...Read more

Mackinac Island named the No. 1 summer destination in America

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The vacation planning website TripAdvisor just named Michigan's Mackinac Island the No. 1 summer travel destination in America for 2018.

That's ahead of the likes of Martha's Vineyard (Mass.), Jackson Hole (Wyo.), Lake George (N.Y.) and Ocean City (Md.).

"This charming island is a throwback to old-timey seaside leisure with the candy-colored ...Read more

Best way to see Niagara Falls is up close

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Niagara Falls is nature at its mightiest. More than just a look at a waterfall, a visit is a full vacation surrounded by the natural beauty of the area and the luxury that has drawn tourists from around the world.

A great introduction to the Niagara Falls is from the water with a tour from Niagara Cruises. Voyage to the Falls boat tour visits ...Read more

Catalina Island beckons with new hiking trails, vestiges of old Hollywood

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California sun sends shimmers of light across the choppy waves as I depart Long Beach and head out to sea aboard the high-speed ferry Catalina Express.

My destination: a 76-square-mile fortress of rock that's marooned 23 miles off the coast of Los Angeles.

Catalina is one of eight of the Channel Islands, and it's the only one with a ...Read more

That time when a bear broke into our minivan on a family vacation in the Smokies

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As we checked in and got directions to our mountain cabin, we were told we might encounter bears on the property.

Don't feed them, we were warned.

OK, we said. Got it.

Not long after completing a 600-mile, nine-hour road trip from Chicago, we followed a winding road to an area just west of downtown Gatlinburg, Tenn., the gateway to Great ...Read more

The fires could not quench the beauty of California's wine country

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NAPA VALLEY, Calif. -- As I floated 2,500 feet above this storied wine-producing valley in a hot air balloon, all I could see below was a vast mosaic of greens. Greens in every shade -- from palest lettuce to soft sage to vivid emerald. Soaring over the Mayacamas Mountain Range, a tantalizing view of Mount St. Helena (not to be confused with ...Read more

What's around the Fillmore

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The Fillmore stands near the confluence of three neighborhoods. Here's what to visit in each.

Fillmore District

For a jazzier scene in a throwback setting far smaller than the Fillmore, step across Geary Boulevard to the Boom Boom Room at 1601 Fillmore St. Once known for its association with John Lee Hooker, the Boom Boom Room is a long, ...Read more

Museum of Ice Cream staying for the summer in San Francisco

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It will be a sweet summer in San Francisco.

The wildly popular Museum of Ice Cream is extending its run yet again. You can immerse yourself in icy-creamy goodness and flop into that pool of sprinkles anytime between now and Sept. 3. Tickets for the latest extension went on sale last week.

And there are new whimsical art installations at the ...Read more

Feel the music at the Fillmore

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SAN FRANCISCO -- It's 10 minutes to showtime. Step up to the three-story Italianate brick box at Fillmore Street and Geary Boulevard. Avert your eyes from the payday-loan operation that takes up much of the ground floor. Submit to a brief search by security.

Then climb the stairs, grab an apple from the giveaway bin and check out the hundreds ...Read more

How to plan your next trip around a 'walk-cation'

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On my latest trip to Chicago, I consumed nine tacos, three doughnuts, an Indian crepe, a giant tamale, a mound of carnitas, a bowl of pasta and a table full of Vietnamese food. How did I not gain 15 pounds? Well, I also walked 8 to 10 miles per day -- which is typical for me when I travel.

Exploring a city on foot has so many benefits. I ...Read more

New airline seating proposal a stand-up idea

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For those in the economy section of an airplane, flying is already an experience that falls somewhere between tolerable and miserable on the comfort spectrum.

And that experience is not likely to get much more comfortable if Aviointeriors Group has its way.

The Italy-based aerospace interior design company recently unveiled its latest seat ...Read more

Legoland wants you to spend the night with knights and wizards

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Here are some of the highlights of Legoland's new 250-room Castle Hotel, which boasts 2,100 Lego models crafted from more than 3 million Lego bricks.


Greeting guests in the lobby is a 5-foot tall Lego model of a bearded wizard standing atop a pile of Lego spell books. With the tap of an oversized button, a spiraling chandelier ...Read more