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There's More Than the Beach on Alabama's Gulf Coast

By Victor Block

My first thought was that I had taken a wrong turn. This couldn't be Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, perched on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. That place is known for its long stretches of magnificent sand and expanses of unspoiled nature. I was passing a line of high-rise condominium buildings that seemed to be competing for ...Read more

The World's Largest Food Fight and Feeding Frenzy

By Fyllis Hockman

I have to eat more bacon? Really? Who wouldn't want that? Okay, maybe not vegetarians, but I have it on the authority of a vegan friend that the porcine delicacy is the verboten food most missed. And here I am immersed in it, engulfed by 10 different tantalizing bacon dishes that I'm supposed to judge as part of the ...Read more

Toasting Magical Greenland

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

Coffee and "Danish" in Greenland? (More about that in a minute.)

I had no idea what to expect in this "fly-over" country, inhabited since prehistoric times, some 4,300 years. How many times flying across the Pond I've gazed from an airline window to the mass of ice below, wondering who in the world lived there. ...Read more

Rafting on Idaho's 'River of No Return'

By Nicola Bridges

Trussed up in our soggy wetsuits, splash tops, life jackets and helmets, my (mature) river mates and I are daring each other to jump off a 25-foot-high rock into the freezing-cold water at the mouth of a waterfall that gushes into the rapidly running river we've been rafting for the past five days. We're too old for ...Read more

It's Not Your Grandparents' Disneyland Anymore

When I first started going to Disneyland shortly after the park opened in 1955, the most advanced high-tech item you could buy was an authentic Davy Crockett coonskin cap. You wore it proudly and recorded your visit (in black and white) with your trusty Brownie Sure Shot camera.

Today you'll need a lot more interactive smartphone savvy if ...Read more

See Shakespeare and Much More in Ashland, Oregon

By Gay Courter

Ashland, Oregon, is the ultimate weekend destination. The problem is that when the weekend is over, you don't want to leave. Close to the western border of Oregon and California, Ashland is nestled in scenic Rogue Valley, which offers an exhilarating mix of culture, cuisine and natural beauty. From wineries and farmers' ...Read more

Quilt Barns: A Quaint and Colorful Tour Through Oregon History

By Fyllis Hockman

Farm history. Family history. Artistry. Bursts of color. Tradition. Community. Creativity. So many different celebrations of life represented by the bountiful wooden quilts that majestically drape almost five dozen barn doors illuminating the landscape of Tualatin Valley (Twal'-i-tin), Oregon (Oar'-i-gun). And yes, the ...Read more

Discover Diverse, Unsung Oregon

By Victor Block

It doesn't take long for visitors to Oregon to admire its varied landscapes, intriguing chapters of history and reputation as a cornucopia of tasty fruits, vegetables and outstanding wine. At the same time, Oregon is as much a lifestyle as a destination. "Laid back" and "laissez-faire" were among words that crossed my ...Read more

Cambria Is a Sparkling Gem on California's Coast

By Athena Lucero

Below the radar but on the beaten path, Cambria on the Golden State's central coast is not a beach town but a jewel of a seaside village established in 1866. It's no wonder my friend was set on celebrating her birthday here, one of her favorite places on the planet.

Off Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a...Read more

Baseball and Beauty in Montclair, New Jersey

By Nicola Bridges

Think of vacationing in New Jersey and the Jersey Shore immediately comes to mind -- 141 miles of long-grassed dunes and beaches and the hustle and bustle of the shore's boardwalks: arcades, fair rides, ice snow cones and people parading in skimpy beachwear.

But I'm not here in Jersey to hang at the beach or the ...Read more

Good Times Abound in Bardstown, Kentucky

By Glenda Winders

My cousin Jan always does the planning when we travel together. She takes pleasure in finding a good hotel, filling an itinerary with activities and researching places to eat about as much as I find it tedious and frustrating. She hasn't let me down yet, always suggesting offbeat places where we never fail to have a ...Read more

Everyone Loved Eureka Springs, Arkansas

By Gay Courter

I don't know about your family, but our children and their spouses have very specific -- and divergent -- ideas of what constitutes a vacation destination. We wanted all 15 of us to gather for our golden wedding anniversary celebration (including seven grandchildren under 7 years old). They wanted baby-friendly, immersive ...Read more

Going Home to Sunny San Diego

By Lesley Sauls

It has been a long time since I graduated high school in San Diego and a lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge, but when I had the opportunity to take my new husband to my old stomping grounds, I leapt at the chance. He was invited to a meeting in "America's Finest City" over my birthday weekend, a perfect ...Read more

Riding the Range Near Mexico's Teotihuacan Pyramids

By Nicola Bridges

It's Children's Day in Mexico, El Dia del Nino, and in a tiny village two and a half hours north of Mexico City young children in brightly colored uniforms are dancing in circles in a schoolyard to the sounds of mariachi music while two young vaqueros -- cowboys -- stand on a wall, beer in hand, and dance along with ...Read more

Hampshire Is Blazing the English Sparkling Wine Trail

By Athena Lucero

Wine country in England? Say what?

When I learned about winemaking in Hampshire, an hour's train ride south of London that's producing world-class sparkling wine, I beelined over the pond to see the vines with my own eyes. The weather was dry and unusually warm as we drove through the rolling hills in one of the largest...Read more

A Lake Michigan Vacation -- Almost

By Steve Bergsman

When Norbert Blei wrote his most famous book, "Meditations on a Small Lake," he was attempting to do what Annie Dillard had done in her Pulitzer Prize-winning ruminations on nature and a small body of water called "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek." Blei, who was the bard of Door County, Wisconsin, chose the more circular Little...Read more

Portugal Is One of Europe's Crown Jewels

By Doug Hansen

"To travel is to live," proclaimed Hans Christian Andersen, and for two weeks my wife and I lived our dream of exploring Portugal's towns, wine regions, historic spots and its popular island, Madeira. Here's what we found.

Portugal's compact size lent itself to discovery without overly long journeys. One of the oldest ...Read more

We Can't Get Enough of Fiji

By Doug Hansen

Our second trip to Fiji confirmed my belief that Fijian hospitality and amenities are second to none. Fijians often say "Senga na lenga," which means "no worries," and during our weeklong stay we were as stress-free as we could be.

Getting to Fiji required a 10-hour overnight flight. We experienced a strange time warp by ...Read more

From Accident to Embarrass, No Name and Hell -- Unusual Town Names

Known for iconic structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge and colorful neighborhoods like Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco is surrounded by natural beauty, making it one of America's best cities in which to get out and enjoy a hiker's paradise. Memorable times and beautiful scenes await on local trails that can enhance a visit to the City by ...Read more

From Accident to Embarrass, No Name and Hell -- Unusual Town Names

Vacationers seeking a double thrill enjoy an exciting whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River followed by a zip-line ride over the canyon through which the rapids race. Eating rather than excitement is the goal of folks in North Carolina, while visitors to a tiny community in Minnesota have an immersion in Finnish culture.

These travel ...Read more

 

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