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Is LAX's Theme Building coming back to life as part of an on-airport hotel?

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LOS ANGELES -- In New York, JFK airport has found someone to transform its curvaceous but long-dead TWA terminal into a hotel. In downtown Los Angeles, Union Station has at last found a brewpub to fill its grand old Harvey House restaurant space after about 50 years.

So when will Los Angeles International Airport resurrect its own iconic, ...Read more

A wine country weekend close to home: Southwest Michigan's vineyards boast variety — and a cute new B&B

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"Sometimes I take baths because it's hard to drink wine in the shower."

This maxim hangs on the wall near the cedar tub in my room at Among the Vineyards, a bed and breakfast where the shoutouts to grown-up grape juice are as plentiful as misplaced beverage containers on the set of "Game of Thrones." (The B&B's Wi-Fi password? "Drinkwine.")

...Read more

On Santa Cruz, California's largest island, foxes play and a traffic jam is 6 kayaks

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SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif.--Before I tell you about my glorious solitude on Santa Cruz Island, let's be clear that there is some congestion among the coastal cliffs and grassy hills.

For instance, if there's a sea caves tour, you might see half a dozen folks dragging yellow plastic vessels into the shallows, all at once. Kayak traffic.

If ...Read more

'Roos, geese, and a blue-tongued lizard: Behind the scenes at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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SAN DIEGO -- Wali's blue tongue rapidly flickers in and out. She swivels her head toward the visitors, reptilian eyes bright.

Wally is a northern blue-tongued skink. These Australian lizards display their azure intakes appendage to ward off predators. Bright colors often mean danger, such as with the highly venomous blue-ringed octopus.

But no...Read more

North Carolina mountaintop hideaway offers see-to-forever views of Smoky Mountains

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It's not often I think of my Granny Trudy, my grandmother on Daddy's side of the family. After all, she died more than 40 years ago. But when I happen upon a garden as pretty and thriving as hers once was, I can't help but remember her and her love for colors and flowers.

In a tiny swath of North Carolina's ribbon of the Smoky Mountains, I ...Read more

Go to Boise for its arts scene? Yep! The booming city is undergoing a cultural renaissance

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BOISE, Idaho -- "Boise is a badass," declared Jake Logue Salutregui, who, when he's onstage at the downtown Balcony Club, goes by the drag name Denimm Cain. "We have an underground culture that is underappreciated. We have great food, healthy and athletic people, educated people, people who are dreamers. It's a shame the nation doesn't know what...Read more

In the Kansas town that was home, the astonishing story of Eisenhower lives on

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ABILENE, Kan. -- They still like Ike in Abilene.

And why not? He executed the military plan that turned the tide of World War II in Europe, stopped Hitler and ultimately brought the war in that theater to an end. He did it by getting big-ego military leaders to work together by subjugating his own, by believing in his troops, by being willing ...Read more

Disney's Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is a fully realized 'Star Wars' toy

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Disneyland has long had games in its parks, from a shooting range in Frontierland to what is essentially a collection of mini video games in Disney California Adventure's Toy Story Midway Mania. But never before has a Disneyland attraction been the sort of large-scale, walk-in and user-malleable arcade game that is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers ...Read more

Disneyland heads into uncharted lands with ambitious Galaxy's Edge

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Here's a familiar and effective design trick often used at theme parks: Corral guests under or through a passageway that forces the crowd to narrow before a grand reveal.

Think of Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A., where parkgoers are shunted through a passage under a train tunnel that gives way to a romantic, turn-of-the-20th-century town and a...Read more

Disneyland heads into uncharted lands with ambitious Galaxy's Edge

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Here's a familiar and effective design trick often used at theme parks: Corral guests under or through a passageway that forces the crowd to narrow before a grand reveal.

Think of Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A., where parkgoers are shunted through a passage under a train tunnel that gives way to a romantic, turn-of-the-20th-century town and a...Read more

Peek inside the splashy new Tidal Cove Water Park in Aventura, Fla.

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South Florida had been tantalized for years with promises of water parks that never came to fruition, but a splashy new attraction has finally slip-slided into the region. Tidal Cove, an upscale water park, has opened to the public inside the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa in Aventura.

Stretching five acres behind the Aventura Mall ...Read more

Casino's guitar-shaped hotel is a rock star. Here's what's coming for the debut

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This guitar-shaped hotel soars 450 feet into the sky, an extravagant glass structure that no one can miss.

The Seminole Hard Rock & Casino's audacious $1.5 billion expansion is commanding the attention of commuters on highways, passengers aboard planes and residents near and far who've watched it rise the past two years.

The Hard Rock for the ...Read more

Nickelodeon brings 'Slime City' pop-up experience to Atlanta

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Summertime means trips to the pool, picnics at the local park and sips of iced tea on the porch. And in Atlanta starting June 15, slime. Lots and lots of slime.

Dubbed "Nickelodeon Slime City," the pop-up experience will be located at the Buckhead shopping district where Disco Kroger is based off Piedmont Road.

The 20,000 square-foot ...Read more

Milwaukee's frozen custard hot spots: Where to find Cream City's signature treat

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Don't call it ice cream.

Not if you're in Milwaukee. Not if you don't want to be ridiculed as rude, clueless, a rube.

Folks in Wisconsin's largest city take their signature dish seriously -- no offense, cheese curds -- and consider it an insult to confuse their rich dairy dessert with ordinary supermarket ice cream.

You'll find frozen custard...Read more

Record number of guests visit Florida theme parks

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Florida's theme parks saw a big jump in attendance in 2018, a fact that will come as a surprise to no one who stood in line for a roller coaster, the train to Hogwarts or a character meet-and-greet.

In Florida, which gets more theme park visitors than any country in the world or any state in the U.S., 87.5 million people visited its eight ...Read more

Princess Diana's death is a draw at the new National Enquirer Live! theme park

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Who needs Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge when you have this new theme park offering: a re-creation of the 1997 fatal car crash of Diana, Princess of Wales.

No, we're not kidding.

The attraction can be found at the new National Enquirer Live! when the park opens Friday. It's located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., just a few miles from Dolly ...Read more

Fiesta San Antonio is the perfect expression for a culturally distinctive city

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SAN ANTONIO -- "Every true Texan has two prides: his hometown and the Alamo," famously remarked J. Frank Dobie, a former journalist, folklorist and rancher.

I agree. My pilgrimages to the Alamo began as a teenager when my grandfather first took me to the storied mission. I was appropriately awed at being in the spot where 189 defenders took ...Read more

Big highways blah? Don't dis them. Why and when to travel interstates — happily

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When we think about road trips -- and, now that schools are out or almost so, we may be -- we rarely think about the road itself, especially the big, rumbling, boring interstates that lace together our country.

Why should we? They're the method, not the merriment.

But consider this: More than half of traveling families will vacation by car ...Read more

On Nevada's Electric Highway in a Tesla, a Wild West ethos versus a techie future

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GOLDFIELD, Nev. -- We were taking a smarty-pants car through honky-tonky country -- Reno to Las Vegas. Our route: U.S. 95, Nevada's Electric Highway, a mostly two-lane road that has been peppered with charging stations to meet the growing demand of electric vehicles, or EVs.

Although still a fraction of the market, EV sales are surging, ...Read more

Following environmentalist Edward Abbey's footsteps in the Utah and Arizona deserts

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Edward Abbey (1927-1989) was a desert rat, a chronic contrarian, a serial government employee with a penchant for anarchy.

He made his reputation by exploring Arches in the nonfiction "Desert Solitaire" (1968), then doubled his fame in 1975 with "The Monkey Wrench Gang," a novel that follows four misfits as they lament lost wild places, burn ...Read more