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Travel & tourism

This October 2014 photo shows an owl at Fukuro no Mise, which means Shop of Owls, in Tokyo. The cafe allows visitors to hold and interact with owls. It’s one of a number of cafes in Japan where you can spend time with animals ranging from rabbits to goats. (AP Photo/Linda Lombardi)

It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In the U.S., hanging out in a cafe with animals is such an exotic concept that people can’t get enough of it. A pop-up cat cafe in New York last year had lines down the block. Online reservations for another Manhattan cat cafe are almost fully booked, more than two months ahead. But in Japan, cat cafes are just the start. You can hang out in rabbit cafes or have coffee in Tokyo with two goats. And you’re not limited to domestic animals. You can also spend an hour at a cafe holding a great horned owl. Judging by how complicated it was to get …

Travel Talk: Technology can help steer you in the right direction on a road trip

Saturday, January 24, 2015

With gas prices at an amazingly low level, I bet lots of you readers are planning road trips this year. And with technology advancing at warp speed and prices for tech gadgets dropping fast, I have no doubt that lots of you will rely on a GPS, whether it is a hand-held or in-dash version, to help you navigate the highways and byways. …

Explore 3 N.Y.C. Chinatowns: In Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chinatown has long been a popular destination for tourists in Lower Manhattan. But visitors willing to explore the city’s outer boroughs might consider a subway ride to neighborhoods in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, or Flushing, Queens, which are also home to large Asian populations and bustling commercial strips dotted with restaurants and shops. All …

Dogs welcome at St. Louis museum about, well, dogs

Sunday, October 19, 2014

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 …

Come sail away in a powerchute

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The enormous fanlike propeller behind the passenger whirs, then begins to howl as the pilot hits the accelerator. The wheels bump along the gravelly desert and a small jolt tugs on the safety belts as the chute billows …

Baggage Check: Talking through feelings hurt by a spouse and a good friend

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Q: My husband has become very involved in online message boards, to the point that it’s all he talks about. There is a woman on several of these boards with him. She lives across the country, but I know they Skype a lot. He doesn’t think he’s doing …

Ray Duckler: Leave the rest behind and come over here

Friday, October 10, 2014

‘I have to show you,” Deborah Ramsey said, with the enthusiasm of a child. “I have some in the trailer.” Ramsey rushed inside, dressed in khaki shorts, a pink top and sandals, as though she had something precious …

Family travel five: Let literary figures inspire your itinerary

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A good book can transport us to magical places and encourage exploration. Here are five places with stories to tell and the characters behind them: 1. A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh,” Winnipeg, Manitoba: A century ago, a Canadian soldier launched a literary legacy when he adopted a black …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …