Home & Leisure

Coronavirus fears spook Queen Mary into canceling Dark Harbor haunt

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LOS ANGELES -- Come Halloween, the Queen Mary transforms into a haunted spectacle full of monsters and frightened folks. This year, the old boat will be a real ghost town.

The ship's Dark Harbor 2020 season has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a post on the annual attraction's Facebook page announced.

"With the uncertainty that ...Read more

Coronavirus ruined our family vacation this year. We turned to an RV for a new adventure

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Heading north on the Maricopa Highway toward Wheeler Gorge Campground in Southern California, I was finally comfortable behind the wheel of the 25-foot-long RV.

I'd gotten accustomed to the rental's hulking mass, adjusted to its vague steering and learned to ignore the clanging cutlery and cooking implements, which registered their noisy ...Read more

As museums begin to reopen, they're rebooting the visitor experience

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When museums open again, it won't be the same.

Picture this: Timed tickets. Touch-free doors. Ikea-like signs to direct foot traffic. No more docent-led group tours. And loads of hand sanitizer, of course.

"We are working on creating as much of a touchless journey as possible," said Eric Bruce, head of visitor experience for the Minneapolis ...Read more

Disney: Splash Mountain joining Magic Kingdom's makeovers

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Walt Disney World's theme parks haven't reopened from the coronavirus shutdown yet, but there's a fresh development at Magic Kingdom. Imagineers will revamp the Splash Mountain ride, changing its theme from "Song of the South" to "The Princess and the Frog," it was announced last week.

In the win-win-win category for Disney, it...Read more

Delta to require health acknowledgment by customers at check-in

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ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines will soon require customers to answer questions about whether they've experienced symptoms of COVID-19, or been in contact with someone who has, as part of the check-in process.

Starting in mid-July, the Atlanta-based airline said, passengers will be required to fill out a health acknowledgment form. Passengers also ...Read more

Delta extends block on middle seats, flight capacity limitations

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As some airlines in the United States announced they would once again book their flights to capacity. Delta Air Lines revealed it would continue to block middle seats and limit passenger numbers in every cabin through Sept. 30.

Delta is capping seating at 50% in First Class and domestic Delta One; 60% in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta ...Read more

Prince's Paisley Park will reopen on July 1 with new health protocols

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MINNEAPOLIS -- At Paisley Park, privacy-loving Prince usually kept socially distant from people. When his studios-turned-museum reopens for tours on July 1 in Chanhassen, people will have to keep socially distant from one another.

New COVID-19 pandemic protocols will be in place:

1. All tickets must be purchased in advance at ...Read more

Yosemite, after partial reopening, cancels campground reservations through July

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FRESNO, Calif. -- Less than two weeks after Yosemite National Park partially reopened to the public, officials are slowing the process down some after seeing a spike in coronavirus cases in California.

Parts of the park, including two campgrounds -- Upper Pines (at 50% capacity) and Wawona Horse Camp -- were reopened earlier this month after ...Read more

Summer air travel: Masks, a new boarding routine and bagged snacks

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CHICAGO -- After months of hunkering down at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are slowly returning to the skies -- some eagerly, some cautiously -- and all curious to see how their first flight in months will be different.

On a recent morning at O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 1, used primarily by hometown carrier United ...Read more

Florida Keys makes mask wearing mandatory

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The Florida Keys, which reopened to visitors on June 1, is making it mandatory for everyone in the destination to wear masks.

The Monroe County Commission decreed that facial coverings must "be worn by all residents and visitors while in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead."

It is not mandated, ...Read more

One of Santa Barbara's oldest streets is suddenly so popular it's scary

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- If you haven't seen State Street in Santa Barbara lately, brace yourself. It's gone car-less. The empty lanes are filled with young and old people eating, drinking or wandering on foot, on cycles, on scooters. Expect a big, happy crowd on a Saturday night.

And maybe mask up.

"It's so wonderful, isn't it?" said Ruth ...Read more

All of California's national parks are open. Kind of. We can explain

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All of California's 11 national parks and recreation areas are now at least partly open.

The portions still closed, however, include such iconic spots as Alcatraz and Muir Woods in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Californians to postpone leisure travel until the pandemic eases.

The parks' phased-in steps ...Read more

Private jet service to Las Vegas and a night at the Wynn for $216

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Las Vegas recently reopened after a months-long pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To woo visitors, private jet service JSX and Wynn Las Vegas have wasted no time in coming up with a sweet airfare-hotel deal starting at $216 per person.

It includes round-trip airfare on JSX from private terminals at Hollywood Burbank or John Wayne airports...Read more

The buffet is returning to Las Vegas with a new look

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Wynn Las Vegas, which reopened with new health and safety protocols in place earlier this month, will be the first resort on The Strip to reopen its buffet since the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

Diners at The Buffet can expect some changes, however, including physical distancing, touchless technologies and disposable and downloadable menus...Read more

Architecture tour boats return to the Chicago River after being sidelined by the virus

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CHICAGO -- It's one of the signature images of summer in Chicago: Architectural tour boats plying the skyscraper canyons of the Chicago River, their guides spitting out facts to packed crowds as the low-slung craft slip beneath river bridges.

The coronavirus pandemic erased such vibrant scenes, turning the docks along the river's main branch ...Read more

What mask? Las Vegas tourists act like the virus is long gone at the Cosmopolitan

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LAS VEGAS -- "Why is he wearing a mask?"

As I walked up to a roulette table at the Cosmopolitan on Friday night, I couldn't help but hear the young woman ask her friend about my facial covering. I knew she was talking about me because as I scanned the casino floor, I was the only nonemployee wearing a mask.

Welcome to the new Las Vegas, where ...Read more

Disneyland plans to reopen July 17, and Downtown Disney earlier

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LOS ANGELES -- The Disneyland Resort, closed since mid-March to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, is preparing to reopen just in time to celebrate the park's 65th anniversary. The so-called happiest place on Earth is looking to begin a phased reopening in July.

Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure will open July 17, ...Read more

'Field of Light's' solar-powered light show in Paso Robles reopening

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Bruce Munro's artsy superbloom of thousands of solar-powered stemmed lights has wowed visitors in a Paso Robles, Calif., field for more than a year. The art installation, which had to close temporarily in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will reopen Friday with new social distancing rules.

Visitors now will take a one-way path through...Read more

Summer of the road trip: Why we're hitting the road, and how to do it safely

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Amanda and Peter VanOverbeke of Orono, Minn., planned to jet off to Ireland with their two sons, Danny, 18, and Andrew, 16. The summer vacation was to be a present for Danny, who just graduated from Orono High School, and a celebration of his acceptance to Notre Dame -- home of the Fighting Irish. Now, given the coronavirus pandemic, they will ...Read more

Which California national parks are open and closed? Here's the scoop

Travel / Travel News /

Most of California's 11 national parks and recreation areas are now at least partly open or about to be.

Those still closed include Yosemite Valley, Alcatraz and Death Valley. Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Californians to postpone leisure travel until the pandemic eases.

The parks' status could change, depending on the spread of the coronavirus ...Read more