Travel


JUST IN: Congressmen call on feds to suspend Brightline bonds

Days after Brightline completed the first leg of its passenger train service, the battle continued to grow over whether the company should be allowed to use federally approved tax-exempt bonds to finance its extension north to Orlando. Brightline carried its first paying passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami on Saturday — marking the completion of the first phase of its private service...
Palm Beach Zoo’s new leader hopes to create world-class attractions

Palm Beach Zoo’s new leader hopes to create world-class attractions

The Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society has a new president and chief executive who hopes to transform the facility into a “world class” destination for both locals and out-of-town visitors. Margo McKnight, the former senior vice president of conservation, science and research at the Florida Aquarium, took over the zoo’s top position on Monday. She replaces Andrew Aiken, who...
Six tips for navigating Norwegian’s newest cruise ship

Six tips for navigating Norwegian’s newest cruise ship

Bliss is fleeting. Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, recently made a brief stop in PortMiami as part of her inaugural tour. Resplendent with her hull artwork by Wyland — he of the larger-than-life marine-life murals fame — the ship is now on her way to her summertime home in Seattle. From there she’ll sail seven-day voyages to Alaska before making her way...
Do your homework to find the right guide

Do your homework to find the right guide

For many travelers, hiring a private tour guide is a luxury. But with an informed approach, it’s an expense that’s often worth the cost. “With a good guide, you will learn and see things that you would never find in a book or online,” said Emma Guest-Consales, vice president of the Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) and a private tour guide.  But how do you find...

Family Travel: 5 tips for planning a 'skipgen' getaway with the grandkids

It’s that time of year when grandparents embark on travel adventures with the grandkids. Here are five ideas to consider if you’re planning a “skipgen” (leaving the parents home alone) getaway with the younger generation:  It makes sense to include the kids in choosing a destination. But remember they don’t know what they don’t know. Begin by discussing big...

Airbnb sets its sights on surfing

Surfing has become part of Airbnb in a big way: The home rental and travel company recently introduced more than 75 surfing-related activities in its Experiences category, a service where travelers can book activities and tours with Airbnb hosts in more than 20 destinations worldwide.  The new Experiences were launched in collaboration with the World Surf League, the professional sport&rsquo...

TSA has created secret watch list for unruly passengers

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), not content with pat-downs and other intrusive procedures that can break the air passenger's spirit, has been compiling a secret watch list of "unruly" passengers who might pose a threat to TSA staff at airport checkpoints.  The watch list - first reported by the New York Times - includes people deemed by the agency to have engaged in...

Travel dilemmas: Before you drive off, here are a few tips

You and nearly 37 million of your closest friends are getting in the car and driving to some well-deserved respite on Memorial Day weekend, AAA tells us. Here are things you may want to do (Real ID driver’s licenses) and things you must do (renting a car to get out of town).  Real ID, an update: By now, you’re aware that you’ll need a federally compliant form of identification...

Whitewater river in Colorado a bright spot amid grim drought

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — Despite a severe drought across the Southwestern United States this spring, there should be plenty of water for rafters and anglers in one of the nation's most popular mountain rivers.  Water from melting snow is rushing into the Arkansas River in central Colorado, thanks to a surprisingly wet winter in the towering peaks where the river begins, state and federal officials...

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Los Angeles

Just two Los Angeles Metro Rail stops from the grungy glitter of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a whole different world - Thai, American and Angeleno. The neighborhood of Thai Town is buoyed by L.A. County's Thai population, the largest in the country, a group big and hungry enough to sustain regionally specific cooking. The blood, bile and bitter herbs of Northern Thai cuisine, the lime-lashed food...
Memorial Day 2018: Five best uncrowded beaches in Palm Beach County

Memorial Day 2018: Five best uncrowded beaches in Palm Beach County

Headed to the beach for Memorial Day weekend? We found some of the best ones to enjoy without the usual crowds. Relax and have fun! Vital statistics: 15 acres, 600 feet of guarded beach, open sunrise to sunset Parking: Free The primary draw of this quiet beach – the county’s northernmost — is the snorkeling. With clear waters and multiple rock formations within wading distance...
Delta opens pop-up lounge for middle-seat passengers at Logan

Delta opens pop-up lounge for middle-seat passengers at Logan

No one likes being stuck in the middle seat, no matter where their flight may be going. With that in mind, Delta Airlines partnered up with Coca-Cola for a special treat specific to those stuck in the middle seat. The Atlanta-based companies are offering a a pop-up "Middle Seat Lounge" at Boston Logan International on Monday for only one day. “From getting the VIP treatment...
Memorial Day 2018: Best beaches in Palm Beach County

Memorial Day 2018: Best beaches in Palm Beach County

We love our Florida beaches. And with Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, it’s time to soak up some sun. With the county’s 45-mile long Atlantic shoreline, there are lots of beautiful beaches to choose. And if you like uncrowded beaches, or want to enjoy the perfect spot to grab breakfast at the beach, we found those too!  Here we break down the main attractions...

Travel deals: Two-for-one river cruises and $300 off hiking and biking in Ireland

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - At Mountain Lodges of Peru, get 15 percent off the lodge-to-lodge Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu via foot or horseback. The six-night trekking trip costs $3,300 per person double (a savings of $590), and the equestrian trip costs $3,500 (a savings of $625). Both excursions involve round-trip travel from Cusco, Peru, and include lodging, most...

How to get to and enjoy a luxury trip to Paris for less

Interested in a late summer vacation to Paris, but think that peak travel season means it must be completely out of reach? August happens to be one of the most affordable times to visit the city, with even luxury hotels offering rates and inclusions that aren’t usually available during the rest of the year. Airfare to the city, it turns out, is also cheaper compared with other months. ...

American travel to North Korea remains out of bounds

In September, the United States barred American travelers from visiting North Korea.  But a perceived thaw in relations after the release of three Americans imprisoned in North Korea and news of negotiations for a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, has revived industry hopes for a travel rapprochement.   The ban followed the death in...

Carnival expands Cuba offerings for 2019-2020

Carnival Cruise Line will expand its lineup of Cuba cruises for 2019-2020. An additional 23 sailings on five different ships will depart from four East Coast homeports. Carnival Sunshine will sail to Havana from Charleston, S.C.; Carnival Triumph from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Carnival Paradise from Tampa, Fla., and Carnival Victory and Carnival Sensation from Miami.  Carnival Sunshine will make...

Chatbots are industry's new conversation piece

Travel chatbots are having a moment. It's about time.  After a few false starts, these automated programs that answer basic questions, find deals or secure refunds are slowly coming into their own. And they might be worth trying.   A bot is an application that performs an automated task. Outside of travel, bots can do things like tell you the weather or conduct an online search. Most...

That time when a bear broke into our minivan on a family vacation in the Smokies

As we checked in and got directions to our mountain cabin, we were told we might encounter bears on the property.  Don’t feed them, we were warned.   OK, we said. Got it.   Not long after completing a 600-mile, nine-hour road trip from Chicago, we followed a winding road to an area just west of downtown Gatlinburg, Tenn., the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National...

This Oregon city has trails worth traveling for

SISTERS, Ore. — Coming from Bend, I have yet to regret making a trip to Sisters or through Sisters for hiking or biking.  Whether I’m just passing through on the way to higher-elevation trails in the Cascade Range or staying on trails near Sisters, if I’m in Sisters, I’m usually on my way to some outdoor fun.   Speaking of trails near Sisters, the Peterson Ridge...

The thrill of victory and the agony of the feet

It's the time of year when people start thinking about getting in shape for summer vacation, usually with swimwear in mind. But I've found a more useful variation on the theme: Get in walking shape. With the ability to walk for hours (and hours), you can cover miles of city blocks, take in a day of Disney attractions or explore your supersize cruise ship from stem to stern without conking out. ...
Home of Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special officially history

Home of Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special officially history

Todd Smith’s Toyota Prius pulled onto the front yard of the modest house on the Westside, back hatch slightly ajar to make room for the big piece of Jacksonville history inside. Smith and Charles Harding lifted it out and propped it against the car: a cast aluminum historical marker noting that this is the location of the “Van Zant House,” an otherwise rather ordinary-looking home...

Want to be a gastronaut? Let these tours lead the way

When it comes to consuming a culture, it’s hard to beat digesting it in the literal sense, which may explain the explosion of food-related trips.  From Texas to Turkey, food is a point of differentiation for many destinations and, according to the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization, food is helping drive tourism to rural regions, giving often needy areas income to supplement...
Brightline’s inaugural West Palm-to-Miami trip draws crowd, celebration

Brightline’s inaugural West Palm-to-Miami trip draws crowd, celebration

Brightline trains transported riders from West Palm Beach to Miami on Saturday, marking the first time in 50 years that the Florida East Coast Railway has been used to bring passengers to the Magic City. The historic trip, capped off by a celebratory grand opening of the MiamiCentral station, signaled a milestone achievement for the Florida company, which has endured a turbulent first four months...
Oregon couple reflects on 20-month, 18,000-mile cycling odyssey

Oregon couple reflects on 20-month, 18,000-mile cycling odyssey

BEND, Ore. — They had endured grueling climbs while crossing the Andes six times, relentless rain and wind, endless desert, vicious dog attacks, scary crashes and an agonizing bout with dengue fever.  So it is no wonder that when Bend’s Kristen and Ville Jokinen approached the end of their 20-month, 18,215-mile cycling journey in Ushuaia, Argentina, they were an emotional mess: laughing...

What’s around the Fillmore

The Fillmore stands near the confluence of three neighborhoods. Here’s what to visit in each. ——— Fillmore District For a jazzier scene in a throwback setting far smaller than the Fillmore, step across Geary Boulevard to the Boom Boom Room at 1601 Fillmore St. Once known for its association with John Lee Hooker, the Boom Boom Room is a long, narrow lounge (no food) with a round...

Talk Travel: Going to South Dakota? There is plenty to see in addition to the National Parks

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: We'll be staying at a cabin near Rapid City, South Dakota in late June/early July for eight nights. Besides the National Parks and National Monuments in the area, what other interesting sites are recommended? We'll be driving from Fort Collins, Colorado...

A road map to shopping like a royal

The British royal family has long been a source of public fascination, captivating mere mortals in Britain and beyond with a passion for all things Windsor.  Toss a wedding into the mix — specifically one so storybook as the nuptials of Prince Harry and his American fiancée, Meghan Markle, on Saturday — and the excitement swells: Where will Meghan shop in London? Where will...
Feel the music at the Fillmore

Feel the music at the Fillmore

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s 10 minutes to showtime. Step up to the three-story Italianate brick box at Fillmore Street and Geary Boulevard. Avert your eyes from the payday-loan operation that takes up much of the ground floor. Submit to a brief search by security. Then climb the stairs, grab an apple from the giveaway bin and check out the hundreds of vintage posters. The 10 twinkling chandeliers...
JUST IN: Brightline trains ‘nearly sold out’ for Miami opening weekend

JUST IN: Brightline trains ‘nearly sold out’ for Miami opening weekend

Tickets for Brightline’s first train trips to Miami this weekend are nearly sold out, and the company is bracing for large crowds at all of its south Florida stations. As of Thursday morning, tickets were still available on the 7 a.m. weekend trains departing West Palm Beach for the Miami station. There were also seats on the 9 p.m. Saturday train and on the 7 p.m. Sunday train, both traveling...
Florida roadside attraction: Gators to the left, crocs to the right

Florida roadside attraction: Gators to the left, crocs to the right

There’s a fine line between alligators and crocodiles. At Gatorama, a roadside attraction in Palmdale, Fla., off U.S. Highway 27, that line is a boardwalk. As you venture into this alligator farm with a healthy dose of reptiles on display, a giant lake houses dozens of the largest specimens on site. They don’t mix, though, with a population of nearly 30 American crocodiles to the right...

Can an Italian chef’s success in D.C. translate into Spanish?

WASHINGTON — With four hot-ticket Italian restaurants around town, chef Fabio Trabocchi has name recognition in Washington. But can he translate his success into Spanish? Judging by a recent meal at his seafood-focused restaurant, Del Mar, which opened in November, the answer is a resounding sí.  Located at the District Wharf, a mile-long new development set on the Potomac River...

Does Washington need an anti-Trump hotel? This entrepreneur is betting on it.

On an overcast February afternoon, Katherine Lo glides into the lobby of a building under renovation at 12th and K streets Northwest in downtown Washington. "This is my favorite part of the whole hotel," Lo says, referring to her soon-to-open business and gesturing toward a small room off the lobby entrance. The space will become a glass-walled digital radio station, she says, where local...
The fires could not quench the beauty of California’s wine country

The fires could not quench the beauty of California’s wine country

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. — As I floated 2,500 feet above this storied wine-producing valley in a hot air balloon, all I could see below was a vast mosaic of greens. Greens in every shade — from palest lettuce to soft sage to vivid emerald. Soaring over the Mayacamas Mountain Range, a tantalizing view of Mount St. Helena (not to be confused with Washington state’s Mount St. Helens) loomed...

Hawaii volcano eruption costs tourism industry millions

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — People nixing vacations to Hawaii's Big island has cost the tourism industry millions of dollars as the top attraction, Kilauea volcano, keeps spewing lava.  Cancellations from May through July have hit at least $5 million, said Ross Birch, executive director of the island's tourism board.   The booking pace for hotels and other activities, such as tours for...

Your friends in Hawaii are probably safe from the volcano on the Big Island. Here's why.

As someone with relatives in Hawaii, I've been touched by the friends who have reached out to me and my husband to see how our family is doing - and a bit bemused. My in-laws, - who are fine, thank you - live on Oahu, 200 miles from the Big Island, where the Kilauea volcano is reworking the landscape and laying waste to some residents' dreams of paradise. Don't be embarrassed, such misperceptions...
Horseback riding offers taste of Old Florida wilderness

Horseback riding offers taste of Old Florida wilderness

The Sunshine State is filled with options for those seeking a nature getaway, especially in the rural middle and northern areas. However, if you want to taste Old Florida but still be within reach of bigger-city attractions, a quick getaway to a horseback-riding ranch can fit the bill. In The Breeze horse ranch in suburban Tampa, one of several places to ride in Hillsborough County, is located within...
West Palm hotel: 50 years of change on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard

West Palm hotel: 50 years of change on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard

The spring training baseball stadium on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard is long gone. So is the auditorium that once drew hundreds of thousands of event-goers a year to the busy corridor. But the roadside hotel that served both of those venues is thriving, even as other businesses along Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard have faltered. The Best Western Palm Beach Lakes Inn will...

Hotel butler service is really nice. Is it worth the price?

Can a butler really make a hotel stay that much more extraordinary?  Yes, say a growing number of luxury properties that have butlers as an amenity for their guests.   According to Reneta McCarthy, a senior lecturer at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, the concept of butlers dates at least to the 18th century in Europe, when a butler was a male who was in charge...

At a Kigali hotel, luxury and light

The Retreat, Kigali, Rwanda No. 5, KN 29; theretreatrwanda.com  Owned and run by an American entrepreneur, Alissa Ruxin, the Retreat is the second of her two hotels in Kigali — the first, Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel, is next door. Built almost entirely by Rwandan workers, the 11-room upscale property opened in late 2017 and emphasizes design, art and eco-friendliness: the aesthetic...

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Orlando

Ground transportation at Orlando International Airport is designed to persuade visitors to proceed directly to the concentration of hysteria on the southwest side of town. But if you make the effort to get yourself to the northeast side of the city, you'll find an entirely different theme in Winter Park and Maitland, with museums, parks, gardens, art festivals and plenty of shopping destinations where...

These Caribbean rum distilleries are worth a vacation in themselves

In the realm of jobs that sound so good someone must have made them up, Global Ambassador of Rum ranks up there with Rooftop Pool Bar Critic.  Yet, Ian Burrell does hold the title. The Jamaican-born Burrell is the industry spokesperson, a paid consultant who is hired by spirit brands to spread the good word. He travels the world, teaching consumers and industry professionals about rum, from how...

As more support animals try to fly, American Airlines says leave the goats at home

Leave your service insect, hedgehog or goat at home.  These are the animals now also restricted from flying as support animals aboard American Airlines flights per the airline's latest animal restrictions.   The country's largest airline, which has a major hub in Miami, released its new policy Monday detailing stricter rules for flying with a furry emotional support companion. The changes...

Museum of Ice Cream staying for the summer in San Francisco

It will be a sweet summer in San Francisco.  The wildly popular Museum of Ice Cream is extending its run yet again. You can immerse yourself in icy-creamy goodness and flop into that pool of sprinkles anytime between now and Sept. 3. Tickets for the latest extension went on sale last week.   And there are new whimsical art installations at the show — a Mint Jungle and Carnival...

Are Americans really using more vacation time?

A new study found that American workers used an average of 17.2 days of vacation in 2017, marking the highest level for vacation usage since 2010.  The research from Project: Time Off showed an increase of .4 vacation days from 2016, which was over a full day more than the low of 16 days in 2014. While it’s a good start, 52 percent of Americans still left vacation time unused last year...
Memorial Day 2018: Here’s 9 of our favorite breakfast on the beach spots

Memorial Day 2018: Here’s 9 of our favorite breakfast on the beach spots

Memorial Day weekend is almost here. And that means it’s time to hit the beach. What better way to start the day than with a tasty breakfast by the water.  Here are some Palm Beach County eateries where the only thing better than the eggs are the excellent water views (and the perfect place to walk off all those calories): The almond-coated, thick-cut French toast earns raves...
Memorial Day 2018: Peanut Island Guide - Things to know before you go

Memorial Day 2018: Peanut Island Guide - Things to know before you go

Every big holiday weekend that involves beach, fun and sand has to include ‘Peanut’ That’s what the locals call Peanut Island, the 80-acre tropical island located at the west end of the Palm Beach (Lake Worth) Inlet. It’s a get-there-by-only-boat county park, where long strings of boats raft up while hundreds of people socialize in the shallow off-shore water. Sound...
Bread and milk: Why do we panic-buy those foods before a storm?

Bread and milk: Why do we panic-buy those foods before a storm?

Whenever severe winter weather approaches, grocery store aisles are always clear of eggs, bread and milk. But why is that the case? >> Read more trending storiesThe CDC recommends bread as a no-cook food to stock ahead of a storm, but not perishables like milk and eggs. A power outage means those foods may not last until the storm passes. Duke University behavioral economist Dan Ariely...
Family emergency supply kit must-haves

Family emergency supply kit must-haves

Emergency Supplies: Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.. Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:  Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking...
UPDATE: New monorail fleet in the works? Disney World denies rumors

UPDATE: New monorail fleet in the works? Disney World denies rumors

Walt Disney World should soon be getting replacements for its aging fleet of monorails, according to the retired imagineer who designed the original iconic trains for Disneyland as well as the Orlando resort. But officially, theme park officials say there presently are no such plans. Bob Gurr, an 86-year-old Disney legend who was hired by Walt Disney in the 1950s, appeared to confirm recent rumors...
9 weather terms you should know when preparing for a hurricane

9 weather terms you should know when preparing for a hurricane

Whenever a hurricane is poised to strike a region, there are several terms meteorologists use that might not be familiar. Here are common ones you should know as you keep your eye on the storm’s path:  Lines or bands of low-level clouds that move (feed) into the upper region of a thunderstorm, usually from the east through south. This term also is used in tropical meteorology to describe...

Now on tour: shoes and sketches by Manolo Blahnik

Any devotee of the television series “Sex and the City” knew who Manolo was and why Carrie happily blew thousands of dollars on his shoes.  Footwear designer Manolo Blahnik studied art and languages in Geneva before moving to Paris and working as a theater set designer. In 1970, Diana Vreeland, who at the time was the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, encouraged him to design shoes...

In Chile, a gorgeous, very rainy and sometimes lonely journey

Ten minutes into my drive down the dirt highway that transects Chile’s Parque Pumalín in northern Patagonia, I had to pull over. Not for any mechanical reason, just to stand and stare in awe. Dense forest had suddenly given way to a lake flanked by mountains — a Chia pet landscape of undulating greenery beneath a vivid blue sky streaked with cirrus clouds.  Minutes later, I...

In Slovenia, a ski and a swim make an unusual pairing

Living in Slovenia, you often hear about the benefits of the wonderfully compact yet diverse terrain of the country. Stretching over a territory about the size of New Jersey, it runs the gamut of landscapes.  Consider the vast underground limestone cave systems, just a short drive from the flatlands of the Pannonian Plain, populated by storks and gypsies. The dark, fairy-tale forests of the southern...

Tourists in Los Angeles County pumped a record $22.7 billion into the local economy

LOS ANGELES — A record-setting pace of tourists visiting Los Angeles County injected $22.7 billion into the local economy last year, countering fears that a strong dollar and tough rhetoric from the White House might scare off international tourists.  The county hosted 41.2 million domestic visitors and 7.3 million international visitors in 2017, a 2.6 percent increase over 2016 &mdash...

In Cuba, the great American tourism boom goes bust

HAVANA - As U.S.-Cuba relations warmed in recent years, Matilde Portela, an Airbnb host, reveled in the flood of American tourists. An aspiring business executive at age 73, she quickly learned the art of niche marketing - adorning her home with two American flags and laying out back copies of the New Yorker magazine.  "We had so many Americans coming that we didn't know where to put them...

Airline customer satisfaction is higher than you might think, a survey indicates

The airline industry is one that passengers love to hate. And yet, overall customer satisfaction hit an all-time high in 2017 and declined only slightly in 2018, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report, which was released in late April.  In the report, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue received the highest marks from customers, while budget carriers...
Upgrades at Holiday Inn a matter of keeping up with industry

Upgrades at Holiday Inn a matter of keeping up with industry

When guests walk into the newly revamped Holiday Inn hotel near Orlando International Airport, they are greeted by a mammoth display of 55-inch televisions. The channels can be programmed to show separate news channels, flight-arrival updates or in-hotel locations for specific meetings on the 25 grouped screens. Or, if hotel officials want, they can all sync to show one huge program, like they did...
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