Travel

Travel

San Francisco celebrates 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love. There will be many stories written and told about it. This almost certainly will be the only such story that won’t mention singer Scott McKenzie and the John Phillips lyric, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”

Travel

San Francisco celebrates 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love. There will be many stories written and told about it. This almost certainly will be the only such story that won't mention singer Scott McKenzie and the John Phillips lyric, "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair."

Travel

72 hours in Atlanta

I never had a yearning to visit Atlanta. It just wasn't a city on my radar. I'd flown through it a few times on my way to other cities, but hadn't ever considered it as a travel destination. But when my mother, sister and I were trying to decide where to meet up for our annual girls' weekend, we decided, why not try out Atlanta? Flights to the city are cheap from Los Angeles and New York, our respective towns, and in February the weather was perfect for a visit.

Travel

St. Marks Place – three famous, hip blocks of New York City

Early on a mild September morning, an elderly man on a black bicycle meanders along the paths of Tompkins Square Park, in New York's East Village. A cassette tape player balanced on the bicycle's crossbar plays tinny Asian music that grows louder as he approaches and then fainter as he pedals away. The only other sound is birdsong.

Travel

Feasting in Verona, where tradition and creativity intersect

It was a chilly Tuesday afternoon in a giant shopping center in Verona, Italy, and there was a feast before me: a plate of tagliatelle strewn with saffron, spec and mushroom; oversized raviolis packed with scampi and artichoke. The raviolis on my friend's plate were stuffed with polenta and ossobuco. It was disorienting to be in a mall because this was some of the most excellent pasta I'd eaten in recent memory.

Travel

Marfa, Texas – unvarnished

You may have read, or more likely heard, all kinds of things about Marfa, Texas. That it's super cool. That it's a foodie destination. That it's right next to Big Bend. That it's completely overrated.

Travel

Highway 101: Best hotels between San Francisco and Santa Barbara

The stretch of Highway 101 from San Francisco to Santa Barbara offers a vast array of lodging options, from chain motels to boutique inns. Sure, you could do the 300-plus miles in a single day, but it's more fun to dabble along the way. You can go tasting at some of the stunning wineries in Paso Robles, Pismo or down near Los Olivos or Los Alamos. Grab lunch or dinner at a terrific roadside spot and then bed down at one of these wonderful inns. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Travel

Highway 101: The best roadside eats between San Francisco and Santa Barbara

There was a time – a very long time – when anyone traveling down Highway 101 faced a dearth of dining possibilities. That San Francisco-Santa Barbara trek was fueled by golden arches and Denny's knockoffs. Now there's no need to resort to such desperate measures, not when you can pull off the freeway and nosh in style at Paso Robles' Kitchenette and Arroyo Grande's Comfort Market. Here's where to grab a bite, no matter what time you fly through town.

Travel

On a sleeper train, sometimes the best scenery is inside

Shortly before Memorial Day, my husband, Matt, and I pulled our three children out of elementary school a week early and boarded Amtrak’s Empire Builder, which loosely follows the trail of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. We got on in St. Paul, Minnesota, headed for Portland, Oregon.

Travel

Atlantis, like its namesake island, is a resort like no other

Over the years, I have kissed a lot of things in my quest for a good story – Ireland’s Blarney Stone; my luck goodbye in Las Vegas and shipboard casinos; terra firma after returning wobbly-kneed from the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb. But nothing I’ve ever kissed in the line of duty has given me as much pleasure as smacking lips with Katrina, a 6-year-old dolphin at Atlantis Resort’s Dolphin Cay.

Travel

The benefits of pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel stays

After booking your cruise, the next best thing to consider tacking on to your vacation is a pre-cruise and/or post-cruise hotel stay. Granted, you need to plan extra time to accommodate this add-on, but the benefits of doing so, if you can afford the extra hours away from work and home, are immeasurable.

Travel

How to combine a business trip with a vacation

Combining a work trip with a vacation – often called “bleisure” – can be a win-win situation, said Kendra Thornton, the president of the Chicago travel agency Royal Travel & Tours and an expert on planning such trips. “You’re already at your destination, and your employer has likely picked up the tab to get you there,” she said. “So why not tack on a few days for fun?”

Travel

Death Valley is place of unique features, unexpected character

The desert landscape and extreme climate of Death Valley National Park seem a little off, otherworldly even. Crooked peaks are capped with black lava, like thick fudge sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Rocks mysteriously move across a dry lakebed. Some of the highest temperatures on earth have baked layers of mineral-stained sediment and volcanic ash into surreal outcroppings.

Videos

New planetarium in Charlotte

Discovery Place/Nature unveiled its new planetarium Thursday.
John D. Simmons The Charlotte Observer
New planetarium in Charlotte 1:28

New planetarium in Charlotte

First look at the National Museum of African American History and Culture 1:43

First look at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Rafters enjoy the rapids on the French Broad River 1:46

Rafters enjoy the rapids on the French Broad River

Triplet lemurs born despite birth control at South Carolina Zoo 1:42

Triplet lemurs born despite birth control at South Carolina Zoo