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Eureka! Finding California's Cheese Trail

By Athena Lucero

It's a fact: Cheese makes you happy. So that explains why partygoers hover around the cheeseboard. Whether made from the milk of cows, buffaloes, sheep or goats, this phenomenon has been studied by scientists around the world (more on this later).

Considered an ancient food, cheese made its way to California when ...Read more

San Diego Botanic Garden Offers Plants and Play

By Nicola Bridges

San Diego Botanic Garden is an urban oasis for plant-loving adults. Four miles of trails meander through 37 acres, featuring more than 5,000 plant species in 29 uniquely themed gardens representing more than 15 different domestic and worldwide habits.

For children, it's a natural wonderland, home to three children's ...Read more

Card Games Provide Fun on the Go

By Nicola Bridges

No matter how much you like to travel, there are times when boredom kicks in and you need to keep your children -- or your adult traveling companions -- entertained. Some of my best memories from childhood travels are the card game sessions of Old Maid, Go Fish and Kings in the Corner. Cards are such a compact game to ...Read more

Architecture Adds to Travel Adventures

By Victor Block

I took an architecture appreciation class years ago, and the instructor gave me two suggestions that have stuck with me ever since. The first was: Look up. Adhering to his advice, during my travels around the Unites States and the world I have admired and enjoyed features on buildings I would otherwise have missed -- ...Read more

Magical St. Croix Makes for a Memorable Multigenerational Vacation

By Candyce H. Stapen

Sharing favorite pursuits with the family's youngsters is one of the many pleasures of a multigenerational vacation. Snorkeling with them above blue tang and purple and pink dappled parrotfish at Buck Island Reef National Monument off St. Croix proved a highlight, even if everything didn't go as planned.

We chose St...Read more

Gators and Snakes Delight Visitors to Orlando

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

Universal Studios and Walt Disney World are certainly the top attractions in Orlando, Florida, but we're glad we included some others when we took our 17-year-old grandson for his birthday. He is a born naturalist, and his favorite creatures include all the creepy-crawly species.

Gatorland wildlife park is a ...Read more

Cruising From Europe's Exotic Isles to Its Charming Ports

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

Whenever my husband, Carl, and I arrived early for dinner in the main dining room on the Holland America Rotterdam, staff members in the reception area would enthusiastically smile and wave. It always made me feel like royalty. I could forget the world's tragic problems, relax and have fun, and be served a ...Read more

American Castles Mimic Their European Forebears

By Victor Block

If the word "castle" conjures up images of turreted medieval strongholds scattered around Europe, that's no surprise. Beginning in the 11th century, rulers there built fortresses to demonstrate their wealth and power and provide safety from attack.

An estimated 25,000 such citadels still stand in Germany, about 11,000 ...Read more

Learning and Leisure Abound in Talbot County

By Victor Block

As I steered the car into the tiny town of Oxford (population about 600), I began to feel calm. My breathing slowed, my body relaxed and I noticed that my wife, Fyllis, seated beside me, was having the same reaction.

Welcome to Talbot County, Maryland, where visitors are immersed in chapters of the past in meaningful ...Read more

Talbot County, Maryland: A Throwback to History and Americana

By Fyllis Hockman

Talbot County, Maryland, is old. Very old. One of the earliest buildings, a Quaker meeting house, dates to 1682. But even more than the origin of its buildings, three favorite sons of the county encapsulate its history in different but fascinating ways. Two were symbols of the Revolutionary War and the other the Civil ...Read more

Camp With Camels in San Diego's Backcountry

By Nicola Bridges

Horse and cows, yes. Mexican longhorn Corriente cattle, yes. Llamas? Quite possibly. Goats? For sure. But camels in San Diego's backcountry? And I'm not speaking of the dromedaries at the world-renowned San Diego Zoo Safari Park, also a great place to see camels.

No, I was 45 minutes east of San Diego exploring the ...Read more

Learn Rich and Tragic History in Beautiful Charleston

By Victor Block

During a recent tour of Charleston, South Carolina, the guide paused in front of a church, began discussing its history and said it had been built in 1855. Then he referred to it as a "new" place of worship. While that description seemed unusual, the reason for it soon became evident.

Charleson is, if anything, old. It ...Read more

For a Lively Vacation, Try Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

By Candyce H. Stapen

Sometimes, we like our lake vacations mild -- boats, books and hiking boots. Other times, we crave a lively lake getaway with good restaurants, music, street festivals and bars. Either way, Elkhart Lake in eastern Wisconsin, about two and a half hours from Chicago, delivers a next-level lake vacation full of ...Read more

Prohibition Museum Recalls a Turbulent Time in American History

By Fyllis Hockman

The entrance immediately transports you to the era just preceding Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to1933. A larger-than-life 1918 street scene depicts a truck loaded with alcohol being prevented from moving by an angry crowd of protesters. They sport signs that read "Liquor is a curse," "Alcohol is poison" and "...Read more

Choices Abound During a Trip on American Cruise Lines

By Victor Block

One day during a recent journey through several Southeastern states, I knocked on an unmarked wood door, uttered a secret password and my wife, Fyllis, and I were admitted into the throwback of a Prohibition era speakeasy. This experience took place in a history-rich city where visitors feel as if they have stepped back ...Read more

Around-the-Clock Food, Festivities and Fun on a Coastal Cruise

By Fyllis Hockman

I looked tentatively at the load of shrimp, blue crabs, gar, sea trout and other denizens of the deep as they were dropped into the boat. Even more tentatively, I volunteered to hold one and found myself making eye contact with a very cute stingray, and I'm pretty sure we had a moment.

My trip on the Lady Jane Shrimp ...Read more

San Diego Jewelry Exhibit Reflects Border Life Reality

By Nicola Bridges

The La Frontera exhibit at San Diego's Mingei International Museum is a thoughtful showcase of the juxtaposition of life at the U.S.-Mexico border, reflected in the artists' clever craftsmanship and using precious and mundane materials to depict the clash of border cultures.

Silver, bronze and gems are paired with ...Read more

There's More Than One Thing To See at Popular Destinations

By Victor Block

Countless people around the world the world dream of visiting New York City's Times Square, and many of them do, which is one reason why the neighborhood is included on lists of most-overrated places in the United States.

That's not to say that if you haven't been to the enclave nicknamed "Crossroads of the World" and "...Read more

Discover Magical Family Fun in Branson, Missouri

By Candyce H. Stapen

Sometime between the world's tallest looping coaster and The Haygoods' laser, fire and musical extravaganza, we realized that Branson, Missouri, wasn't just for retirees. It's a top place for fun and affordable family entertainment. And who isn't looking for affordability these days? Most shows and museums cost less ...Read more

Small City or Big Town, Greenville Is Worth a Visit

By Victor Block

When I first heard mention of Greenville, South Carolina, I had to look at a map to learn exactly where it is. Little did I know that it has received rave reviews from major newspapers and magazines. It didn't take long after I got there to agree with those accolades.

My first impression after arriving was the inviting ...Read more

 

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