Had I been driving I would not have stopped here. But I was lured from the sidewalk by an open gate and the mysterious buildings beyond. There was a Moorish structure with a minaret, another was Italian with a loggia, a third had a fleur-de-lis on a chimney.
Few people think of Hawaii and chocolate as belonging together. Perhaps they should. We squeezed in a trip to a chocolate factory between scuba diving, bike riding, body surfing and snorkeling during a trip to the Big Island.
Almost simultaneously last week, Delta and American announced upgrades that would include all new seat categories at Delta Air Lines and power outlets and satellite-based Internet on American Airlines planes.
Travel budgets are easily broken. Here's an app that helps you track where those dollars, euros or yen actually went. It helps you log and track your expenses. Set a budget and manage goals before plotting your next escape.
The dark days of December are being lit up with holiday sparkle all over the map, from creative Christmas trees to giant menorahs. Gingerbread houses, light displays and train shows are part of the fun, too.
A little more than half of consumers who make hotel reservations do so directly at hotel websites such as Hilton.com or Marriott.com, even if they're searched elsewhere, because they're loyal to one brand or they think they'll find the best prices by booking direct.
Madame Jojo's is dead, but the risque London institution is not passing quietly. The closure of the venerable burlesque nightclub has ignited a battle between developers, residents and entertainers for the soul of Soho, the city's late-night hub, red-light district and creative heart.
The next frontier in airline fees may be higher charges during peak demand periods. In other words, the $25 you now pay to check a bag may go to $30 if you insist on flying during busy travel periods such as Christmas or Labor Day.
At Taipei's Ningxia Road Night Market on a cool evening last spring, the local food blogger known as Peray showed me his favorite stalls among hawkers selling food like milkfish, charred cuttlefish and sea snails.
When you are traveling 550 mph at 35,000 feet in the air, your food choices are pretty limited. The good news is that the overall trend in airline food is improving, with one of the world's largest carriers making huge strides toward more healthful food over the past year.
Airfarewatchdog.com, the source for hot airfare deals, has expanded into the hotel market. It's a hotel search engine that gives you a top 20 list of hotels based on price, TripAdvisor ratings and key attractions, restaurants and nightlife.
Thailand's embassy in Japan has some tips for Thai visitors: Don't put your chopsticks in the serving bowl. If driving, stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. And just because you have kids doesn't mean you can cut in line.
You could always count on Long Beach, on the Washington coast, for being an old-school beach town. And it's all still there: the go-cart track. The kitschy Marsh's Free Museum, home to plaster-cast Jake the Alligator Man.
With fuel costs continuing to drop, a new study finds the relationship between fuel prices and airfares benefits airlines more than passengers. The study by the travel research site Hopper.com found that over the past 22 months fares have remained flat when fuel prices have dropped.
Brings scenes to life by adding a soundtrack to vibrant black-and-white panoramic photographs. Available for seven destinations, including New York; San Francisco; Bergen, Norway; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm.
They deal in the faux and fantastical on the frenetic Las Vegas Strip, where reality exists merely in air quotes. Just such a respite lies 25 miles southeast, in an altogether different, more chill faux environment, a world away from the Strip's hustle and bustle.
Planning to travel over the holidays? Still haven't made reservations? It's not too late to find an affordable Thanksgiving or Christmas getaway. This procrastinator's guide to holiday travel is for you.
Some of the biggest airports in the world are planning to invest heavily in technology that will let you check in with a mobile device or on an electronic kiosk and board your plane without checking in with a gate agent.
Mark Twain lived in Hannibal, Mo., for only 13 years, but many of his most famous stories were inspired by this humble Midwestern city. A visit to Hannibal today offers a way to appreciate the impact this place had on one of America's best-known writers.
United Airlines launched a concept 15 years ago called Economy Plus, an airline seat that gives fliers a few more inches of legroom for a higher price. It has been so popular that other airlines have copied the idea. America Airlines offers "Main Cabin Extra," and Delta Air Lines has "Economy Comfort."
Somehow, on four visits to Pike Place Market over three decades, I failed to learn where the brothel was. Nor did I hear how the first Starbucks did business for years in this neighborhood before selling its first cup of coffee.
The Seattle waterfront wants you. Especially the Seattle Aquarium (Pier 59) and the Seattle Great Wheel (Pier 57), whose bright lights can be seen for miles. But if you're there when the weather is mild, you might want to consider Pier 52, the ferry terminal.
Don't rent a car to get around downtown Seattle. Since 2009, Sound Transit's Central Link light-rail system www.soundtransit.org has run trains from the SeaTac Airport to the underground Westlake Station at 4th Avenue and Pine Street.
Exhibits include dog paintings, dog sculptures and displays about famous dogs. But what really makes this St. Louis museum unique is the visitors: Dogs are welcome, and curators aren't worried about the canines knocking things over or making a mess.
The Transportation Security Administration is falling flat in its efforts to win the hearts of frequent fliers. Nearly 86 percent of frequent fliers surveyed said the agency is doing a "poor" or a "fair" job.
As the weather turns colder and the leaves fall, many of us begin to plan our spring holidays and think of the days when everything will be bright and blooming again. Wales is a part of the United Kingdom but has a heritage and language all its own.
As if visiting the Paris Catacombs in the daytime wasn't creepy enough, you can now visit the underground maze of skeletons after nightfall, too. That is, if you dare defy the warning at the entrance: "Stop, this is the empire of Death."
In their ongoing quest to squeeze more revenue out of passengers, airlines are split on a big potential moneymaker: in-flight entertainment. Large carriers such as Delta Air Lines have invested heavily in touch-screen entertainment systems that are built into seat backs.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in 2011 in Walmart's hometown, Bentonville, Ark., with a respectable collection of work by famous artists from Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter" to a George Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart.
The first thing you encounter at a new contemporary art show at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the "Mom Booth," where a woman in an apron sits at a table. She's a real mom who gives advice, hugs and maybe a scolding.
After the marriage of American Airlines and US Airways last year — the latest of several airline mergers — more than 80 percent of the nation's domestic air travel was funneled through just four carriers.
Here's an award-winning visual storytelling app that takes travelers' photo essays to the next level. » Available for: iPhone and iPad » Cost: Free » What it does: Select photos from your iPhone or iPad and turn them into a magazinelike photo essay
If you've seen "Gone Girl" movie trailers, you've already glimpsed some sights around Cape Girardeau, Mo. A recent one has a great shot of the Mississippi River bridge. The first-released trailers closed with a shot of the river.
Halloween seems to be getting scarier, with attractions going ever more interactive and in-your-face. At Knott's Scary Farm in Buena Park, Calif., guests are outfitted with neon-green laser guns and ordered to shoot actors portraying zombies by aiming at their heads.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is holding its first exhibit in the space that will become Hollywood's premier museum devoted to the movies. "Hollywood Costume" opens Thursday inside the historic May Co. building.
If passengers can divert a commercial plane by feuding over reclining seats, imagine the squabbles that would erupt if fliers were allowed to make loud telephone calls while crammed together in an airline cabin.
Saint Paul Street, or Rue Saint-Paul, the oldest street in one of North America's oldest cities, runs through the heart of Old Montreal. It's barely a mile long, but its first cobblestones predated American democracy, and its restaurants, shops and galleries are tucked into some great old buildings.
Each day, 8.3 million people around the globe board some 93,500 flights. They almost always land safely. But in the rare chance of a crash, there are things passengers can do to improve the odds of survival.
Here's a website that makes choosing a hotel a snap. It allows you to drag two hotels onto the page so you can do side-by-side comparisons of price, ratings and reviews as well as night life, dining, shopping and tourism.
Intricate, inventive and ahead of their time -- and that's just the vases. London's British Museum opened a major new exhibition Thursday exploring the rich art and global influences of China's Ming era in the 15th century.
After we heard buzzing overhead in the thick jungle for the second or third time, I asked our ponytailed guide, Gregorson Rider, the source of the noise. "Helicopter?" I said. "Tours from Maui," he replied. "It's pretty obnoxious."
We rented our bikes from a guy named Nick. He lives outside the tiny Scottish town of Taynuilt in the western Highlands off a road about as wide as one car. Nick Charlton owns RCS Cycles and repairs, sells and rents bikes from a large shed behind his house.
Although online travel websites such as Orbitz and Travelocity are now responsible for about 70 percent of travel booking in the U.S., the folks who work out of brick-and-mortar travel agencies are reporting booming sales.
Exploring the region north of New York City isn't just for locals, and autumn is one of the nicest times of year to do it. The Hudson Valley offers history, culture and outdoor attractions with Hudson River scenery as a backdrop, just an hour or two from Manhattan.
South Korea's hyper-efficient capital doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of exotic Asian destinations. But this megacity offers much to tempt travelers beyond a layover from the ultramodern international airport in nearby Incheon.
Tired of sharing your travel pics one by one? UrbanBird lets you upload your photos and makes a map of your vacation that includes geographical information you can share with your friends on Facebook during or after the trip.
The percentage of seats filled on passenger planes — known as the load factor — continues to climb, making the likelihood of sitting next to an empty seat almost nil. But airlines say they are packing us in out of necessity, not greed.
Perched at the counter of Sweets Raku, a small, year-old dessert restaurant where almost everything is the gleaming white of a new iPhone charger, I chose a three-course tasting from a rice-paper menu printed in gold.
A new live arena show called "Marvel Universe Live!" — a first for the comic franchise — has begun an 85-city two-year tour, flooding stages with a dizzying array of actors and upping the technological ante for theatrical events.
Packpoint constructs an easy-to-use packing list whether you're traveling for business or leisure, taking just the basics, bringing a baby or planning to do laundry. The lists made with Packpoint were smart and quick to create.
A new study has confirmed what many airline travelers have long suspected: On any given flight, passengers can pay twice as much as others in the same cabin section, and even as much as eight times more.
"In Flanders fields," the old poem says, "the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row." And in the middle of those fields stands Ypres (pronounced "EE-pre"), haunted by World War I but also sustained by it.
If you dare to visit here you'll eventually stand beneath the elegant geometry of Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque (built in 1530) or sip a beer at the Sarajevo Brewery (founded 1864) or tiptoe atop the stone walls of the White Fortress.
He may not self-identify as a philosopher, being a proud gearhead and gas station grease monkey at heart, but Mark Mendenhall was nothing if not profound when he looked around and took stock of all he surveyed.
A new resort could soon spring up on the vacant Las Vegas Strip site of the former New Frontier casino, thanks to a partnership between Australian billionaire James Packer and former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal.
Noted investor Warren Buffett just last year described the airline industry as a "death trap" for investors. But the industry has sprung back to life, with the nation's biggest carriers reporting hefty — and, in some cases, record — second-quarter profits.
Laptop littered with vacation photos? And dare I mention your smartphone? There are dozens of solutions for storing and organizing your snapshots. But how to choose? That depends on your particular habits and desires.
In October, after a quick and gluttonous lunch at Hog & Hominy restaurant in Memphis, I swore I had just eaten the best pie of my life: the Beauregarde, named for Roald Dahl's gum-chewing brat, a certain Violet whose nasty habit led to her expanding into a giant piece of fruit.
The flood of weapons uncovered by airport screeners continues to grow, despite repeated warnings by the Transportation Security Administration. In May the TSA discovered a record 65 firearms on passengers in one week, including 45 loaded guns.
It is not often that a prison is a must-see tourist attraction. Welcome to Dublin, where the Kilmainham Gaol is a national treasure. It has been called an Irish Bastille. The aging prison is a monument forever linked to the Irish independence movement.
When United Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced plans recently to overhaul their loyalty rewards programs, industry experts assumed the changes would benefit airlines at the expense of passengers. Now a new study calculates exactly how much fliers will lose.
If you want to travel light, it's not merely what you pack that matters — it's what you don't pack. Yet you need not be a minimalist with featherweight shirts and quick-drying underwear to be a carry-on-only flier.
If fast and free wireless Internet is a priority when you book a hotel room, don't expect speedy Wi-Fi at pricey chain hotels. That was a key conclusion in a new study by the website HotelWiFiTest, which collected and analyzed Wi-Fi speeds from 1,309 hotels nationwide.
Winerist.com • Why settle on wine tasting for just a day or two when there are wine-centric hotels, tours and experiences around the world from which to choose? • What it does • What's hot • What's not
A section of Los Angeles International Airport was evacuated last week when a Stanford University professor was arrested on charges of bringing a World War II-era grenade through a security checkpoint in a carry-on bag.
The National World War I Museum has weathered a whiplash arc from prominence to decline and back to distinction. The museum is working to highlight the story of a war that is often overshadowed in U.S. history by other conflicts.
Pullman Rail Journeys was started in 2012 by Iowa Pacific Holdings, a company that owns or partners with several iconic passenger train lines in places like Machu Picchu, Peru; the Rio Grande Valley in Colorado; and Mount Hood in Oregon.
A new analysis suggests that some airlines are carrying slightly fewer passengers per plane, but it may seem crowded because more room has been set aside for passengers in the front of the cabin and less to fliers in the back.
It's a website that lets runners, hikers, mountain bikers and others share their favorite trails. Traveling to a new country and hankering for a brag-worthy trail to run? Crowd-source it from another passionate enthusiast before you pack your shoes.
Saving for your dream trip just got easier with this website. » Cost: $7.95 fee to print and mail your Travel Savings Card to you » What it does: Helps you achieve your travel goals by providing a system for saving money and organizing your travel budget.
Across section of Americans awakened early and waited in line for hours to be among the first to ride to the top of the Washington Monument, open to the public Monday for the first time in nearly three years after an earthquake chipped and cracked the towering symbol.
In the last few years, the Transportation Security Administration has removed the full-body scanners that create nudelike images of passengers and restricted pat-down searches of children and seniors, among other changes.
It may be no surprise that the U.S.-based airline that has drawn the most complaints per passengers over the past five years is Spirit Airlines. After all, the Florida-based carrier is known for supertight seating and dozens of fees, including charges for soft drinks and carry-on bags.
LA CONNER, Wash. » Nearby tulip fields aren't the only reason to visit this little town. But with the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival running the whole month of April, that's undoubtedly why many visitors will have made the drive in recent weeks.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. » Maybe you're planning your summer vacation. Or perhaps your daily life always has you on the go. Either way, when circumstances dictate you make quick, unplanned decisions about nutrition, you might not always make the most healthful choices.
For those with a bit of flexibility and both time and money, TripCommon, a travel software company, recently completed beta testing for Hitlist, which works as a travel agent of sorts, monitoring fares between a home airport and a user's favored destinations.
One of the most tired cliches is that so-and-so doesn't actually sell such and-such; they sell peace of mind. Well, in this case it's true. The question is whether there is a market for that peace of mind among airline customers.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air has rolled out a roomier seat dubbed the "Giant Seat." It represents the latest way the airline industry has created new seating options for travelers willing to pay more for extra elbow room.
The late, great Australian art critic Robert Hughes once complained that "Crocodile Dundee" is still regarded by many Americans as a work of social realism. A rhetorical exaggeration, of course, but he had a point.
If you're against letting airline passengers talk on cellphones, you've gained a powerful ally. The Global Business Travel Association, a trade group for the world's business travelers, submitted its opposition last week to a plan by the FCC to lift a ban on voice calls on planes.
Whoever said you can't save both time and money hasn't tried this parking app. ParkMe provides a "heat map" of real-time parking spaces in lots and garages that are available in 1,800 cities around the world.
The addition of airline bag fees several years ago created another annoyance: people who cram all their travel necessities into carry-on bags to avoid the fees. United Airlines recently began a crackdown.
AYEUX, France » There's a digital clock on display outside the visitors center in the charming Normandy town of Bayeux — but it doesn't tell the time. It's counting down the days until the 70th anniversary of D-Day in June.
In a city synonymous with theaters and night life, the 26-year-old from Munich was perched on a scarred wooden bench in a utilitarian room in lower Manhattan on a recent evening, straining to decode the methodical hubbub of arraignments in one of the nation's busiest courts.
MARATHON, Fla. » A portion of the historic Seven Mile Bridge, a Florida Keys icon, is to be saved for future generations after officials Wednesday approved a $77 million restoration and maintenance program that is to continue for the next 30 years.
California has always been linked with the idea of American possibility. It's the sun-drenched place where you go to leave the stuffy, decaying old world for a new life. But not everything here is shiny, new and full of potential.
Few things will ruin a cruise faster than feeling seasick. To help prevent motion sickness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying hydrated, curbing alcohol and caffeinated drinks, eating small meals and limiting external stimuli.
Don't call them hot dogs and don't ask for ketchup. Those are the cardinal rules at Olneyville New York System, arguably the best-known Rhode Island spot for one of the state's signature dishes: hot wieners.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel company with 92 properties, including three in the Los Angeles area, will begin to offer guests customized beds, with mattress toppers that vary in firmness at the request of guests.
DUBLIN » St. Patrick may have banished snakes and brought Christianity to Ireland, but perhaps his greatest feat was one of sheer endurance. After all, there were hundreds of other future saints roaming Ireland at the time, but Patrick is the one who gets the party.
LAS VEGAS » There was a time when gamblers tried to keep their trips to Las Vegas a secret. Now, visitors want loyalty points from mainstream hotel chains for the days they spend holed up in Strip casinos.
George Takei talks at "Star Trek" conventions about his role as Mr. Sulu. He tells soldiers and students about the role of Japanese-Americans during World War II. His new musical, "Allegiance" is based on his family's experience living in internment camps during the war.
NEW YORK » It's the wineries of New York's Finger Lakes that usually get the most attention from tourists, but a trail of restored homes, parks and museums may have visitors picking up a bit of women's history with their cabernet franc.
WASHINGTON » Despite the long, snowy winter in the Mid-Atlantic region, Washington's famous cherry blossom trees are expected to bring the first sure sign of spring between April 8 and 12, when they're predicted to reach peak bloom, the National Park Service said Tuesday.
DALLAS » Gabriel Barbier-Mueller bought his first samurai armor about 20 years ago from an antiques dealer in Paris, sparking a fascination that helped him create one of the most significant private collections in the world related to the Japanese warriors.
LAKE TAHOE, Calif. » "George Whittell," the tour guide said, "was born with a silver spoon in his mouth." So wealthy was Whittell's family that as a young man in San Francisco, he vowed he would never work a day in his life. He then set about vigorously pursuing that goal.
LIVERPOOL, England » It's the same barber shop where John Lennon got haircuts as a kid, the place immortalized in the Beatles song "Penny Lane." But instead of "a barber showing photographs" and "a banker sitting waiting for a trim," on this afternoon proprietor Adele Allan is snipping away on Jillian Keig.
The report doesn't undertake any added science, but simply synthesizes previous studies, and the involvement of an insurance company might be cause for skepticism, but a recently issued white paper reaches a conclusion always worth repeating: Travel is good for you.
TOPEKA, Kan. » A new World War II exhibit starting this summer at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum will pay tribute to the millions who fought, but organizers also have another purpose for the ambitious three-year project: getting young people engaged in the war's relevance.
The slew of storms that has pummeled the nation's Midwest and East Coast this winter has resulted in some horrible numbers: 77,000 canceled flights carrying nearly 6 million passengers so far this year.
MOSCOW » Once I came to Moscow to cover an urban ballooning expedition. In winter. But when the balloonists came face to frigid, wind-lashed face with the winter here -- well, we never got off the ground.
My friend Arcadia Kim has three children and a Harvard business degree, but when she tried to negotiate on our behalf with the lady in charge of exfoliation at the Dragonhill Spa in Seoul, South Korea, she did not stand a chance.
In most luxury hotels, if you want wireless Internet access, you are going to have to pay. That trend may be changing. Sort of. Loews Hotels & Resorts announced last month that it will offer free Wi-Fi at all 18 of its hotels.
Amid the hoopla, there's plenty to do for free, including visits to one of the world's biggest breweries, two popular animal attractions, a science center and a towering monument that has come to define St. Louis.
That was the conclusion of a survey by the travel website Airfarewatchdog.com, which polled more than 6,100 travelers on the topic of "the Worst Major Airline Fees." • Also: High interest in travel to Colorado
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans plans a gallery commemorating the work of men and women who saved stolen cultural treasures from destruction by the Nazis — efforts also portrayed in a movie set for release in February.
New York, San Francisco and Portland, Ore., are wonderful cities that can't resist preening when passing mirrors to remind themselves just how wonderful they are. Pittsburgh is a wonderful city that doesn't even see the mirror.
Honoring Ancestors Through Art
Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance artist known for his painting of “The Last Supper,” managed to resurrect one of the most revered biblical scenes of all times through his artwork. Read More »