Home & Leisure



Old West Meets Modern Chic in Scottsdale, Arizona

By Victor Block

Bejeweled women dressed in the latest fashions stroll into Gucci, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany, intent on adding to their wardrobes and adornments. My wife, Fyllis, is learning to rope cattle and clean horses' hooves. The first impression we had during our visit to Scottsdale, Arizona, was the diversity of attractions -- ...Read more

Discover the Flora and Fauna of Joshua Tree National Park

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

Ordinarily we would have driven through the desert landscape as fast as possible to leave the dryness, extreme heat, sand, cacti and rattlesnakes behind us. But our son, Tom, who loves the desert, wanted to introduce us to Joshua Tree National Park, one of his favorite places to hike. We had seen pictures, but we...Read more

History Is on the Menu at 'Hemings & Hercules' Dinners

The first thing you need to know about the "Hemings & Hercules" dinner at Post and Beam in Los Angeles is that it is an eight-course tour de force of open-air, wood-fire, cast-iron cookery dedicated to two of America's first celebrity chefs -- James Hemings and Hercules Posey. The second thing you need to know is that both men were African ...Read more

Organize Your Travel Photos This Simple Way

By Victor Block

Experts predict that in 2021 people around the world will take about 1.4 trillion photographs, many of them while traveling. That estimate, by the digital imaging consulting firm Keypoint Intelligence, includes me -- and probably you.

The big question is: What will you do with those photos -- and the ones you've taken ...Read more

Find Towering Peaks and Western History in the Rocky Mountains

Head north 7.4 miles from the Grand Lake entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and you come to a rather innocuous-looking parking lot and campground. In fact, you've discovered one of the park's most fascinating locations -- the Holzwarth Historic Site, or as it was more quaintly known in the 1920s, the Never Summer Dude Ranch -- where for $2...Read more

Spend the Winter -- or the Summer -- in Grand County, Colorado

In February 1928 an astounding feat of railroad engineering was completed when the first locomotive passed through the 6.2-mile-long Moffat Tunnel, connecting the eastern and western sides of the Continental Divide in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and shortening the distance between Denver and the Pacific Coast by 176 miles. Later the construction ...Read more

A 75th Birthday Hike With Smokey Bear

People are funny about birthdays. Some like to ignore them completely, others crave a big celebration, while others (whether they like it or not) have them sprung on them by surprise.

For many years a critical part of my birthday observance has required hiking in nature. It has offered a chance to observe, take stock and push myself -- sort of ...Read more

Stones of All Kinds Make Visits Sparkle

By Victor Block

Vacationing in Arkansas, Nancy Meyers and Kathy Smith stop at a museum to admire a 5-foot-tall quartz crystal called "the Holy Grail." Bill and Betty Price and their two young daughters sift through a pile of dirt in western Maine looking for gemstones. During a visit to Kentucky to celebrate his wife Evelyn's 40th ...Read more

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains have equally beguiling valleys

By Candyce H. Stapen

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains dazzle in fall. The hillsides billow with ribbons of red, yellow and rust-colored leaves, and roads lead past fields edged by fiery crimson and bright orange thickets of trees. To explore Nelson County, Virginia, we based ourselves at the Wintergreen Resort, a ski resort that sprawls ...Read more

The Past Lives at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

By Victor Block

William Byrd III was a man of great stature in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. He served in the House of Burgesses and on the Governor's Council. However, due to his lavish lifestyle and gambling addiction he could not live within his income. He lost his wealth and died in 1777 by an apparent suicide.

Christiana ...Read more

Explore the Splendor That Is Sedona

By Doug Hansen

Soft orange rays from the rising sun cascaded through the boughs of stubby junipers that lined the trail to Sedona's famed Bell Rock as we hiked along the well-worn dirt trail that circled the base of the massive, bell-shaped red dome. During the 4-mile hike we marveled at the otherworldly beauty surrounding us: In every ...Read more

Learn About People Who Changed the World at Halls of Fame

By Victor Block

A mother watching her young daughter play with paper dolls surmises that the little girl would have more fun dressing three-dimensional figures. A young locomotive engineer drives a trainload of burning dynamite away from a town, saving the lives of hundreds of people. A Black scientist and inventor born in the 19th ...Read more

Short Stay in Bellingham Yields Big Fun

By Lesley Sauls Frederikson

As our group wandered through downtown Bellingham, Washington, my college friend's teenage daughter gently tugged on my sleeve. She had spotted a small ice cream shop and wanted to conspire for a taste, so we nipped in. From an assortment of creative and exotic ice cream flavors we selected honey lavender and ...Read more

Eat Like the Locals -- If You Dare

By Victor Block

Sampling new foods as you go around the country can be a pleasurable and educational part of travel. It can also offer a challenge when diners confront homegrown favorites that -- for better or worse -- are popular in specific states or regions.

Earning bona fides by eating like the locals is a worthy goal, and it can ...Read more

Visit the Best Places to Witness Wildlife Migration Paths

Every year sees tens of thousands of animals and birds move around the country as they head to sunnier climates and breeding grounds. In my experience, nothing is better than seeing such spectacles of nature, and if you pick the right time, you and your family should be able to witness these migrations up close.

Plan the...Read more

Tips for Your Next Family Road Trip

By Margot Black

More people are taking road trips than ever before, despite the fact that bundling your family into a car and driving for hours on end might sound more like your worst nightmare than a fun vacation. I'm living proof that it can be fabulous -- but you have to approach the idea intelligently.

The beauty of a family road ...Read more

Napa Valley's Charm Lives On

By Richard Carroll

The sins of progress have barely touched one of the world's most prestigious wine regions. Once a sleepy, laid-back hideaway where the residents of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga smugly enjoyed the fragrant air, tended their vines and quietly celebrated one of the planet's most attractive settings, the ...Read more

Louisiana's Poverty Point State Park Is Rich in Culture

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

The name may not sound inviting, but Poverty Point State RV Park at the Louisiana State Park and Reservoir in Delhi is one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. The name comes from the abandoned 1800s plantation that was on this property long before it became a park. All the RV sites are flat, paved and with ...Read more

Reflection and Rebuilding in Berlin

By Lesley Sauls Frederikson

On the four-hour train ride from Frankfurt to Berlin, my daughter, the friends we had come to visit and I used our phones and the helpful Marco Polo guidebook we had purchased at the Frankfurt station to plan the two brief days we would be there. By the time we pulled into the station, we were ready to go.

...Read more

An Exchange Experience in Frankfurt Rhine-Main

By Lesley Sauls Frederikson

When my daughter began German classes in middle school, we could not have imagined how much the experience would add to our lives. Four years later, we hosted a student from Germany; we were preparing for my daughter to go there when the coronavirus pandemic spoiled everyone's plans. In the summer before she ...Read more



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