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Travel & tourism

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad rides toward Fontana Lake in the Nantahala National Forest of western N.C. (Marjie Lambert/Miami Herald/MCT)

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 road that snakes through some of the … 0

Travel Talk: When traveling abroad, prepare for the worst

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A successful trip depends on a lot of planning and a bit of luck – luck of the good variety. And when the other kind of luck happens, that nasty wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time type, planning can make all the difference in the world. Now suppose the person traveling is a child or grandchild, abroad and alone on the increasingly popular “gap year” or a similar … 0

Autumn in N.Y.’s Hudson Valley: History and scenery

Sunday, September 7, 2014

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. Here are five places worth … 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

Summer archaeology school looks at 2 sites

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A caribou hunting encampment and Mount Jasper are the sites two archaeological programs in New Hampshire this summer. Participants in the school will learn site documentation, artifact identification, data recovery skills and field mapping. They will investigate Mount Jasper, a site in Berlin that was used for more … 0

Chaucer’s tales still lure visitors to Canterbury

Sunday, June 8, 2014

After nearly 1,000 years, murder in the cathedral is still luring visitors to Canterbury. It was in the Canterbury Cathedral in 1107 that Archbishop Thomas Becket was killed, viciously, by four knights who believed they were doing the … 0