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Travel & tourism

In this June 19, 2014 photo, bikers ride on a road between between Amboise and Chenonceaux, in France. There are hundreds of miles of bike trails through the chateaux towns of the Loire Valley. (AP Photo/Karen Schwartz)

Cycling France’s Loire Valley

Sunday, September 28, 2014

There are hundreds of miles of bike trails through the chateaux towns of France’s Loire Valley – and that’s what tripped us up. We’d been trying to cycle the 17 miles from Chenonceaux to Chaumont, but kept getting lost. We even asked directions from a passing motorist who was certain she knew which way the bike route went, then sent … 0

Travel Talk: Vacation and weather: can’t have one without the other

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In my mind, vacation and weather are inextricably intertwined. It’s really hard to think about one without thinking about the other. Everyone wants the weather on their vacation to be grand – whatever that might mean for your particular vacation. Snow for skiing, cool and sunny for touring the major capitals of Europe, … 0

What to do along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Picture the Blue Ridge Parkway as a crooked spine running through the Appalachian Mountains. Government stewardship of public lands is splashed across the map in confusing variety – a national park at either end, national forests, historic sites, monuments and state parks along its 469 miles. Most of us know it as the … 0

Finding elephants and fancy food on Namibia safari

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Before setting out on a game drive across ruggedly beautiful northwest Namibia, we told the safari camp managers we were happy to take sandwiches. We were intent on finding the notoriously elusive desert elephant, and we didn’t want … 0

Group tours: How to pick the right one for you

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Group tours sound easy: Choose a destination and the tour company plans your trip, delivering you to hotels, restaurants and attractions. You don’t have to Google or organize a thing. But how do you find the right tour … 0

Kittery, Maine, is no longer gritty, but a happening place these days

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The crowd waiting for a table at Black Birch restaurant in Kittery, Maine, spills out onto the street on a warm summer evening. Men in plaid shirts – the kind worn by hipsters, not lumberjacks – and artfully tattooed women mix with folks in more conventional garb, including … 0

Lake Escapes: Best time to visit Weirs Beach? Well, that depends.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The best time of day to visit Weirs Beach in Laconia is early in the morning. The boardwalk is almost empty and Lake Winnipesaukee, rimmed by purple mountains, serenely reflects the pink and orange of the sunrise back … 0

Travel Talk: How to travel on a budget

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Let me take a wild guess and say that lots of you readers out there have shrinking travel budgets. Gas prices are going up. Airfares were supposed to be easing a bit, but I sure as heck don’t … 0

Baltimore: Poe, painted screens, vintage treasures

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It’s not the TV shows Homicide and The Wire that come to mind when I think of Baltimore, though both offered an intense look at an American city’s poverty, drugs and gangs. Baltimore’s glitzy Inner Harbor didn’t draw … 0

Florida resort hotel also serves as military test site

Monday, June 23, 2014

To the tourists who frolic in the crystal-blue surf of this picturesque, white-sand beach, the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn Resort looks like, well, a Holiday Inn with a large beach ball statue on top. But to military … 0

New Harry Potter park: 5 first impressions

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Universal Orlando Resort opened its new, richly detailed Harry Potter-themed area to news media and other travel industry insiders Wednesday night. The new park zone, called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, will delight fans … 0

Travel Talk: How to pack, be prepared on the cheap

Sunday, June 15, 2014

When Bud and I pack for a trip – regardless of whether we’re headed to Florida in the car or jetting off to Burma – we try to incorporate items that are easily available around the house into … 0

Take the train to the Grand Canyon

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The drive to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is easy enough. Get to Flagstaff and it’s only about 90 miles across Arizona’s high country. But why take a car when you can ride a train, especially one like … 0