Home & Leisure



Fine Wine Is the Pride of Texas

By Athena Lucero

"I love tannat! I've never tasted wine from this grape before," I excitedly commented to Jennifer McInnis, general manager at Bending Branch Winery in historic Comfort, Texas. But I wasn't at the bar with a tasting flight before me. I was at home and taking part in a Zoom webinar about off-the-radar winemaking in the ...Read more

Learn to Love Where You Live

By Victor Block

If the current "don't travel far from home" regimen has you down in the dumps, take heart. A world of wonder awaits, and it may be no farther away than where you live or close by.

The lock-down protocols that have curtailed far-flung excursions don't mean you have to hide the car keys, stash walking shoes, and postpone ...Read more

What to Know When You Share a Vacation Rental

By Candyce H. Stapen

It looked so good on paper -- a week in a Caribbean villa with my two sisters, their children and mine. By sharing, we cut costs, gained more space than a hotel room and added such luxuries as a private pool. The rental house in Jamaica, our first villa rental, gave us time to reconnect instead of merely catching up ...Read more

U.S. Train Stations Have Surprises in Store

By Victor Block

Betty Condon and Tom Butler are checking out a beautifully furnished room that was created for the use of U.S. presidents. Roger Price and Paul Beatty are enjoying a spirited game of tennis. Brothers Charles and Ted Brawner are sharing and comparing tastes at a state-of-the-art brew pub.

While none of these experiences ...Read more

Finding Jim Morrison in Paris

By Glenda Winders

When most people arrive in Paris the first places they want to go are the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but my rocker husband had other priorities. We went to those places, too, of course, but what he wanted to do first was visit Jim Morrison's grave. We had arrived on an evening Eurostar from London, so we went to our ...Read more

Civil Rights Sites Honor Struggles for Freedom

By Victor Block

As the Civil War drew to a close, soldiers of the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiments occupied a plantation on James Island, South Carolina, which earlier had been held by Confederate forces. They were among the approximately 185,000 U.S. Colored Troops, as they were called, who fought with the North.

Visitors can ...Read more

Planet Word: Where Words Rule the World

By Fyllis Hockman

I'm a travel writer. Words are what I do. My stories may not always sing, but I usually can put one word in front of another succinctly enough to craft a well-written article. But when I heard about the newly opened Planet Word in Washington, D.C., I was so excited, I had no words. But I knew I couldn't get there fast ...Read more

Beware of Travel Ads That Seem Too Good to Be True

By Victor Block

The advertisement for a Caribbean hotel touts "ocean view," and there is -- for guests who climb to a rooftop terrace and peer far into the distance. A restaurant website is replete with rave reviews that give no hint they were written by people who were paid for their positive ratings. The photograph shows people ...Read more

Small Towns With Big Attractions

By Victor Block

Big cities have a lot going for them. New York's theater district, the monuments and museums in Washington, and major attractions of other urban centers draw visitors from throughout the country and around the world. But don't overlook what other towns, no matter how small, have to offer. Many boast of enough to hold one'...Read more

RV Travel During COVID-19

By Bonnie Neely

I married a man whose middle name is "go." He loves to drive and has built-in mental radar, which usually outthinks our GPS. He is fearless, and the more unfamiliar the territory, the more alluring it is to him. One afternoon he came home with a surprise.

"Come see what I got!" he said.

He had excitedly brought home a ...Read more

Virtual Visits to Places Near and Far

By Victor Block

If you've pushed dreams of visiting the Big Sur region of California, relaxing on a beach in Australia or mingling with Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World to the back burner, turn up the heat.

You may not be able, or wish right now, to travel to those and other bucket-list destinations. However, that doesn't mean you can'...Read more

Underwater and Overwater Animal Encounters in Curacao

By Fyllis Hockman

Their bodies were sleek and graceful, the skin soft to the touch, their demeanor welcoming even if a bit skeptical. Still, they were more used to this than I was. I spread my arms out as instructed and flapped them in the water. Romeo and Pasku, two of my dolphin snorkeling companions, then swam under my outstretched ...Read more

The Sissinghurst Castle Garden Was Cultivated With Love

By Athena Lucero

Our coach rolled through the Kent countryside 62 miles southeast of London toward the English Channel. Our destination: Sissinghurst Castle Garden, one of Britain's most famous gardens and among the most influential plant collections in the world. Combined with its history as a Saxon pig farm, an aristocratic manor house...Read more

Sometimes Group Travel Is the Best Way to Go

By Victor Block

My wife, Fyllis, and I had long dreamed of visiting Costa Rica. We knew about its reputation for magnificent landscapes, abundant animal and bird life, and preservation of the magnificent environment.

We could have spent hours searching the Internet for flights and hotels, reserving a rental car and taking care of the ...Read more

Requiem for Travel

By Gay Courter

Last Jan. 14, my husband, Phil, and I set out on the first of several international trips we'd planned for 2020. We would spend a week in Tokyo, two weeks cruising in Asia and another week in rural Japan. A month later we'd head to Kenya for a safari. After that, we'd visit grandchildren on opposite coasts, as well as the ...Read more

Okinawa: Sunny Island of the Immortals

By Gay Courter

Our Diamond Princess cruise had been almost perfect. We had departed two weeks earlier from Yokohama, visited Kagoshima in southern Japan, stopped in Hong Kong for the Chinese Lunar New Year and celebrated again in Taipei. The festivities had been limited because a mysterious novel coronavirus had been discovered in China ...Read more

A Family Winter Wonderland in Lake Tahoe

By Margot Black

Lake Tahoe is such a beautiful vacation destination for nature-lovers, no matter what season they decide to visit. Our recent getaway to South Lake Tahoe was our first winter experience in this picturesque resort city, and it certainly left more to be desired. The second you leave Lake Tahoe, you want to plan exactly when...Read more

Outdoor Family Fun in Santa Barbara

By Margot Black

Now more than ever getting unplugged and spending time outdoors with family is so important for mental and physical health. Our family was in need of some travel therapy, and our recent trip to Santa Barbara delivered that not only by reconnecting us with nature, but also by fulfilling our goal to learn a few new things ...Read more

Find Lucille Ball, Mark Twain and Salad Dressing in Upstate New York

By Fyllis Hockman

Leaving Chautauqua County, my husband, Vic, and I continued our Empire State Road Trip in upstate New York, this time headed toward Watkins Glen and the Thousand Islands. Our trip was organized by the Harbor Hotels, and when we left one for the other they each gave us a little cooler full of water, fruit and snacks to ...Read more

Comedy Is on Display in Chautauqua, New York

By Fyllis Hockman

How many places do you walk into laughing? You can't help it at the National Comedy Center in Chautauqua, New York, which we visited as part of an Empire State Road Trip in upstate New York.

Flashes of comedic movies, TV shows and stand-ups assault your inner comedian as you enter the National Comedy Center, and you ...Read more



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