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There's something brewing at Columbus, Ohio, hotel, where the scene is hopping

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CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio -- There was nothing obviously out of the ordinary about the middle-aged man sitting near me in the hotel breakfast area, except for the beverages he chose to supplement his morning coffee: a flight of beers.

Well, maybe it wasn't that unusual, considering that I was breakfasting just outside of Columbus, Ohio, at the ...Read more

Leavenworth it? Assessing 2 new spots in the Pacific Northwest's little Bavaria

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Leavenworth is a trip. Nestled against the far side of the Cascade mountains just a few hours east of Seattle, this little town does an impression of a Bavarian village with all its might. The beer flows freely and the music is oompah; buildings are decorated with wooden beams, family crests and gingerbread trim (or their trompe l'oeil versions)...Read more

Country music came of age in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, which still raises the roof

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This was the heart of Saturday night, and honky-tonk singer-songwriter Whitey Morgan had Ryman Auditorium in an uproar.

Wearing a determined scowl and a long beard, Morgan prowled the stage as if looking for a fight. Now and again he'd let his band, the 78's, carry the tune while he paused to pull on a bottle of whiskey.

"...Read more

Off the grid: Exploring the San Juans' most remote islands

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You don't go to the most isolated islands in the San Juans for the amenities. You go for the quiet, for pitch-black nights with the sound of waves hitting the beach. You go for the rare opportunity to disconnect from your modern, plugged-in life.

The latest gossip I hear on Decatur Island, practically before I even have time to unpack, is that ...Read more

Why visit Kentucky's Paducah? Because artists, preservationists and foodies think you should

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PADUCAH, Ky. -- Here's an intriguing travel question – when you think of a charming, culturally significant, Southern river city, what springs to mind? All the usual suspects, of course: New Orleans. Memphis. Charleston. Savannah.

One that probably isn't on your list, but just might be the quintessential Southern river town is Paducah. In ...Read more

Hazy memories of 'Animal House'

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EUGENE, Ore. -- You can visit the Willamette Valley in Oregon just about any fall to sample wines, beers and spirits, hike the buttes, float in a river or cycle alongside one. But this August, there was a baby boomer bonus: the chance to see "National Lampoon's Animal House" slip awkwardly into middle age.

"Animal House" was filmed on and near ...Read more

Boo-crative strategy at Southern California theme parks

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LOS ANGELES -- In years past, Six Flags Magic Mountain's annual Halloween celebration isolated the monsters and ghouls to certain areas of the amusement park while keeping other parts, such as the kid-centric Bugs Bunny World, as a scare-free sanctuary for parkgoers who wanted no part of what the Southern California park calls Fright Fest.

...Read more

Yosemite resort pioneers covered wagon camping in California

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Crossing the bumpy prairies in covered wagons would have been so much nicer for the pioneers if those prairie schooners had air conditioning.

Maybe even a Keurig coffeemaker.

Alas, they did not. But this is 2018, and covered wagons can be tricked out with all manner of modern-day amenities.

Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging in ...Read more

Break away from Kauai's beaches and take your taste buds on a tour

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Floating on the waves and hiking through the jungle are must-do activities on Kauai. But to better commune with the westernmost of the well-populated Hawaiian Islands, I also wanted to taste the local bounty.

Fortunately, there are great ways to savor what makes Kauai unique without breaking the bank at gourmet restaurants. There may be nowhere...Read more

A look at the Florida Keys resorts open now or reopening later

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A year after Hurricane Irma, hotels and resorts in the Florida Keys are gearing up for the fall and winter tourism season.

Hawks Cay Resort reopened completely Aug. 30 after $50 million in renovations. Cheeca Lodge reopened in March. But Little Palm Island Resort will be at work restoring the luxury property for another year.

In Key West, ...Read more

American Airlines renovated museum awaits aviation fans

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Visitors to the newly renovated American Airlines' C.R. Smith Museum can sit at the controls of an MD-80 cockpit.

In a simulated operations center, they can make judgment calls about whether to send a virtual aircraft through bad weather.

The recently completed multimillion-dollar renovation of the museum along Texas 360 ...Read more

Why autumn is the best time for a trip to the Boundary Waters

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Paddling across White Iron Lake, I looked up at the sky, cloudless and blue. Then I glided around a bend and spotted them: a pair of slim maple trees, rising from the rocky shoreline, burst into a brilliant orange.

It was still early. Mid-September. In this northern edge of Minnesota, just outside Ely, most of the trees still shimmered green. ...Read more

Cantina in Disneyland's Star Wars land will serve pre-mixed alcoholic drinks — a first for the park

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LOS ANGELES -- Disneyland visitors who explore the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansion that opens next year will be invited to belly up to a dimly lit Star Wars-inspired cantina where -- for the first time in the park -- they can order alcoholic drinks.

New artist renderings released on the Disneyland blog last week show a dark tavern where ...Read more

Tales from Old Rocky Top, down in the Hocking Hills

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LOGAN, Ohio -- If you paused long enough to read the trailhead signs in Ohio's Hocking Hills State Park, you'd find that the Black Hand sandstone underfoot was laid down 350,000 years ago, on an ancient seabed.

Or you could blow off the science lesson -- like I did -- and push ahead to the Old Man's Cave, past a meandering creek and down a ...Read more

'Bruce Lee's Chinatown' tour offers a personal look at Lee, beyond martial arts stardom

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SEATTLE -- Seeing Seattle's Chinatown through the lens of the martial artist reveals the community's rich living history.

Don Wong knew Bruce Lee. As young men, they worked at Ruby Chow's restaurant together. When Wong, leading the Wing Luke Museum's "Bruce Lee's Chinatown Tour" describes his connection with the martial-arts star, it's not the ...Read more

Time to visit the Michigan town that's home to a 'House With a Clock in Its Walls'

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Long before Harry Potter cast a collective spell with his wizardly ways, a chubby Midwest kid who dabbled in magic was fending off evil in the fictional town of New Zebedee, Mich.

His name is Lewis Barnavelt, the lovably nerdy protagonist in a series of gothic mysteries that debuted in 1973 with the children's book "The House With a Clock in ...Read more

Birthplace of Ginger Rogers opens as museum in Independence, Mo.

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Marge Padgitt had always loved Ginger Rogers.

"I was a fan of Ginger Rogers, as was my mother," said Padgitt, a longtime resident of Independence, Mo. "She got me interested in old-time movies and, of course, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing. There was nothing like the two of them. They were the best."

So it's only fitting that Padgitt ...Read more

Chasing those Chicago blues

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CHICAGO -- "Dancing Aloud," a sign said. On stage, guitarist Corey Dennison, 43, white and well tattooed, had just opened an instrumental conversation with a grandfatherly figure in a White Sox cap.

"This is my old man, Mr. Carl Weathersby," Dennison told the crowd. "He taught me everything I know about the blues."

Weathersby, 65, and African-...Read more

A visit to Cheyenne won't disappoint if you're seeking the Wild West in all its glory

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- When I started out on my trail ride on a scorching day with temps well into the 90s, I didn't know I would be riding from Wyoming to Colorado. What I did know -- according to the trail leader -- was that along the way we could possibly see wildlife that might make the horses skittish enough to spook.

The last word of advice ...Read more

Think you know Lake Superior? A 1,300-mile route gives new perspective

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Vibrant blue-green water lapped at my kayak, bobbing beside towering sandstone cliffs. Seagulls squawked overhead. The water that sprayed from my paddle was ice-cold, a reminder that I was paddling the largest -- and coldest -- of the Great Lakes.

As I toured Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, I could hardly believe ...Read more