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San Francisco Opera Is a Cultural Landmark

Hollywood has the Academy Awards. New York City has the Tonys. San Francisco has for more than a century had the opera. In the City by the Bay, opera stands as a cultural landmark to rival the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach.

It was Sept. 26, 1923, when the curtain rose on Giacomo Puccini's then-contemporary opera, "La ...Read more

People and Places Bring Egypt to Life

By Victor Block

Egypt is a land of pyramids and pharaohs, a rich millennia-long history and present-day life with one foot planted firmly in the past. In ancient times, Greek and Roman explorers went there to gawk at the magnificent man-made monuments. Later, Napoleon showed up and looted treasured artifacts that were transported back to...Read more

The View From a Riverboat Window on the Nile River

By Victor Block

As I sat on the sun deck outside my riverboat cabin overlooking the surrounding scene, many of the most fabled attractions of Egypt came into view. The towering Pyramids of Giza were guarded by the world-famous Sphinx, whose face, believed to portray that of a pharaoh, sits on the body of a lion.

I spotted and marveled ...Read more

Ghost Tours in St. Augustine: Fanciful Foray Into Fantasy and Fright

By Fyllis Hockman

At 450-plus years, St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest city in the United States with a lot to recommend it -- history, ancient (for this country) architecture, Spanish culture and, of course, ghosts. A city that old has a lot of history to haunt -- a lot of death and despair to permeate the landscape -- and the ...Read more

St. Augustine, Florida, Lays its Claim to 'Oldest' Fame

By Victor Block

In 1607 a small band of settlers founded the first permanent English outpost in the Americas, Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia. At that time another town already had existed since 1565 in a different part of the New World -- making it the oldest continuously occupied European community in the country.

Given its ...Read more

Learn About Green Bay by Visiting the Packers

By Lesley Frederikson and Glenda Winders

The best way to learn about the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, may very well be to go to Lambeau Field -- not for a Packers game this time, but to tour the stadium and learn about its beginnings. That's what we did, and our guide told us a gripping story of strong, resilient people determined to ...Read more

In Search of Autumn Color

Bill and Bonnie Neely

We live in South Carolina, but we have family in New Jersey. It being October, we decided to pack our RV and go northward. In one trip we could celebrate loved ones' birthdays and also do some leaf-peeping. But this time we were a bit too early. Fall temperatures were above normal, and the leaves were still hanging ...Read more

Take a Tour of Agatha Christie's Greenway Estate

By Carl Larsen

You might call Agatha Christie's Greenway Estate the scene of the crime -- well, many crimes, that is.

Acclaimed as the world's best-selling author, Christie spent a large part of her career writing those spellbinding mysteries at her Greenway retreat overlooking the River Dart, a few miles from Torquay, where she was ...Read more

Time Forgot Amelia Island -- Thank Goodness!

By Fyllis Hockman

It's a town time forgot -- or maybe it just refused to move forward. Serene and unpretentious, Amelia Island remains in the 1900s -- reveling in its long, colorful history, quite aware it no longer has to prove anything to the rest of the world.

Therein lies the charm of this tiny stretch of land, 13 miles long and 2 ...Read more

A Sweet Wander Through Rome

By Lesley Frederikson

Arriving in Rome with only a few days to visit, my husband and I realized we could only scratch the surface of what was to be seen, and although we had scheduled guides to take us through the Vatican, Colosseum and Forum, after a nine-hour flight, we just wanted to wander. His only request had been that we make ...Read more

A Walk Through Time in Ancient Rome

By Lesley Sauls Frederikson

The quintessential symbol of Rome is the Colosseum. Think of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck zooming past its lofty arches in "Roman Holiday" and souvenirs with the structure emblazoned on their sides. When my husband and I were planning our five-day trip to Rome, we put this at the top of our list, and ...Read more

Outstanding Tour Company Makes an Egyptian Trip Unforgettable

By Fyllis Hockman

Traveling through Egypt on Overseas Adventure Travel's (OAT) Ancient Egypt and the Nile River Tour took us to all the highlights: Egyptian Museum -- check, Step Pyramid -- check, King Tut's mummy -- check, Karnak Temple -- check, Valley of the Kings -- check, Giza Pyramids -- check, the Sphinx -- check. Our itinerary ...Read more

Egypt: 6,000 Years of History Come Alive

By Fyllis Hockman

I'm in Cairo, Egypt, on a hotel balcony overlooking the Nile River, a fantasyland I've heard about my whole life -- and I'm here. I needed to take a minute to revel in that. And recognize that thanks to Overseas Adventure Travel's (OAT) Ancient Egypt and the Nile River Tour, I was about to begin a magical journey ...Read more

So Much to Do in the Dominican Republic

By Victor Block

People often picture the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic as a place of golden sand beaches and inviting all-inclusive resorts. While there are many such settings, I had other things in mind during my visit. I was intrigued by a lengthy choice of activities that provided opportunities to explore largely ...Read more

Dominican Republic: Outdoor Adventure on a Grand Scale

By Fyllis Hockman

First things first: No waterslide at any water park will ever be the same again -- not after cascading down real waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. The waterfall escapade billed as 27 Waterfalls is actually more like 12 waterfalls flowing into 27 pools, and it's only one of a multitude of outdoor adventures offered ...Read more

Sailing the British Isles on the Hurtigruten Expedition

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

"Where's our ship?" I asked my husband, Carl, in panic as we trekked to the tiny tender pier on the Scottish Isle of Iona. I couldn't see it anchored where we had left it just hours earlier via a Zodiac RIB in the nearby sea. The chilly wind blew through me after I had been trampling around the island and ...Read more

Take a Great Vacation on a Budget

By Victor Block

After months of staying close to home because of the worldwide pandemic, Dan and Joanne Crawford were itching to take a vacation. Given their limited income and the cost of raising three young children, however, the amount in their bank account wasn't sufficient to pay for a luxury trip.

Even so, the couple used a ...Read more

Take a Reno-Tahoe Adventure Road Trip

By Margot Black

The Reno-Tahoe territory in California is an eclectic mix of awe-inspiring contrasts and dramatic landscapes that range from pristine lakes to rugged mountains to expansive desert valleys. An impressive diversity of activities and attractions are in this area, all within a short distance of one another, which makes for an...Read more

Take an Adventure Vacation in the Outer Banks, North Carolina

By Candyce H. Stapen

Wide, dune-bordered and breezy, the beaches at Duck, part of North Carolina's Outer Banks, proved to be just what we needed -- even if we hadn't planned to be there. Every day we walked with our toes in the ocean, keeping rhythm with the breaking waves. We collected shells, built sandcastles, flew kites and jumped ...Read more

Extra Effort Pays Dividends in Sicily

By Robert Selwitz

Sicily, the Mediterranean's largest island, lies between Italy's "boot" and North Africa, drawing millions each year to relax and sample its culture, cuisine and beaches. Many other draws await, too, if you're willing to make a bit more effort to appreciate and enjoy them.

Consider, for example, Villa Romana del Casale...Read more



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