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California Central Coast adventure: Zipline tandem, rip through sand dunes

Travel / Travel News /

I brace my feet against the floor of our dune buggy as we rip through the spectacular, wind-formed sand dunes of Oceano. And despite my fear and sensory discomfort -- bump, jiggle, thud goes my head -- one word pops out of my mouth: "Woo-hoo!"

I'm by no means an adrenaline junkie. My family and I have come to San Luis Obispo County, Calif., for...Read more

Where to see fall color: 3 great autumn drives in Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Along the narrow country lane, rolling waves of autumn color covered the hills. I was cutting through bluff country on my way from the National Eagle Center, in Wabasha, to Whitewater State Park, in Altura, about 30 miles apart. But I didn't take the straightest route. It was autumn, after all, and the sun was shining.

I wish I ...Read more

Musical roots run deep in Nashville — the city that dominates new PBS series 'Country Music'

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jay McDowell is a nerd, he's quick to point out. The head nerd, in fact, of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Or at least that's what the multimedia archivist, the official title on his snazzy black and gold business card, calls himself as he leads a small group of visitors through the fascinating exhibits, ...Read more

Museum Day in September means free admission at more than 1,300 venues

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Get into a museum without getting out your wallet on Sept. 21 thanks to Smithsonian magazine's Museum Day.

The annual event, now in its 15th year, gives people tickets for free admission to one of 1,300-plus museums and cultural institutions across the country.

Admission is always free at Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. -- and some of ...Read more

It's all about the barbecue at no-frills Arkansas diner with unpredictable hours — and a James Beard Award

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MARIANNA, Ark. -- Deep in the Arkansas Delta is a barbecue joint whose owner repeatedly attracts national attention, without seeking it out.

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner brings international and close-to-home foodies into Marianna, one of the state's poorest communities, with a population around 4,100. It's estimated that at least one-third of the ...Read more

See ya, Celine. Hello, Gaga. Vegas is getting a millennial makeover

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LAS VEGAS -- Of all the ways to burn through cash in Las Vegas, zip lining 12 stories above the throngs at the outdoor mall known as LINQ Promenade may be the most thrilling. Next to hunting down zombies in a virtual reality game, seeing Lady Gaga in concert or hanging out at an arty day club with DJ Marshmello working the decks.

Say so long to...Read more

12 rookie mistakes to avoid on your Bangkok trip

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Beautiful, cultured and frenetic, Bangkok is one of the world's most intense, energetic cities, and if you want to slip seamlessly into the frantic pace of life here, there are a few things you need to know. From common pitfalls to pointers that will help you see the best of the city, here are 12 rookie mistakes to avoid on your Bangkok trip.

1...Read more

A guide to catching fall colors at Indiana Dunes National Park: Where to eat, sleep and hike

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PORTER, Ind. -- When Indiana Dunes jumped categories from national lakeshore to national park earlier this year, it joined the elite ranks of the country's most hallowed natural wonders, 61 sites whose esteemed members include Yellowstone and Yosemite.

The Dunes' climb up the National Park Service ladder is really just a matter of perception. ...Read more

In Starved Rock country there's no excuse to go hungry, from crispy fried chicken to creamy peanut butter pie

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OTTAWA, Ill. -- Sometimes you just need to get in a car and drive, out to the edge of Chicago, through the suburbs and past the exurbs, to a place where the highway is straight and smooth and the sky shows you where it meets the land, or at least the treetops, in all four directions.

I do this now and again, on Interstate 80, and usually I end ...Read more

7 Florida boat tours: The classic way to see the scenery

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When tourists came to Florida back in the days before Disney, they still went on "rides." But in Old Florida, those rides were boat tours not roller coasters.

Seeing Florida by boat is still one of the best ways to enjoy all it offers.

On a floating getaway, you can reach places where there are no roads and glimpse views you can't see any ...Read more

6 rookie mistakes to avoid on your Spirit Airlines flight

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When perusing flight options, we've all come across prices that seem too good to be true. Although such deals are tempting, it's easy to fall prey to hidden fees and unreliable service without proper research. Spirit Airlines has developed a reputation in the travel community for doing just that. While some of this criticism is merited, Spirit ...Read more