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Travel - Baltimore Sun

Travel features, regional destinations, fares and photos from The Baltimore Sun

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:08:45 -0400

Copyright: ©2018 Baltimore Sun

U.S. News & World Report unveils top 20 summer travel destinations

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:25:00 PDT

Summer’s debut is two months away, and if you’ve got your eye on a getaway, it’s prime time to set the itinerary.

U.S. News & World Report analyzed more than 700 locations — taking into consideration sightseeing options, dining, lodging and weather — to determine the 20 best summer travel destinations...

National parks quest a world-record journey of the heart

Tue, 3 Apr 2018 05:00:00 PDT

By 9 a.m. Monday at Cabrillo National Monument, Mikah Meyer had already mapped out his day. It began with a visit to the Cabrillo sculpture, historic lighthouse and viewpoints, followed by a walk down to the tide pools and an afternoon film screening in the visitors center.

The 32-year-old Nebraskan...

20 things you may not know about Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which turns 20 on Earth Day

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 06:50:00 PDT

Twenty years ago this month (on Earth Day, to be exact), Walt Disney World in Florida welcomed its fourth theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, on April 22, 1998.

The concept of presenting live animals to theme park guests originated with — of all people — Walt Disney himself. Walt’s love of animals...

Unique vacation rentals in Florida include tree houses, hangars, huts and yurts

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 06:05:00 PDT

Whether you’re a Floridian in search of a more adventurous kind of staycation, or a tourist looking to skip the theme parks and resorts in favor of tiny houses or shipping containers, the Internet offers plenty of weird and wonderful options in the Sunshine State.

Interest among travelers in offbeat,...

Art exhibits made for Instagram

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:21:00 PDT

The world's iconic art museums let visitors peruse grand paintings and sculptures, walking in the shoes of some of the greatest artists that ever lived.

But what if you were that artist? Or the subject of said art? Enter, the selfie. 

Immersive and interactive art has gone global, and exhibit creators...

Wintering in Alaska

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:30:00 PDT

After spotting a moose, I spot the “Mushing Mortician.” Along the Iditarod Trail, in Alaska’s snow-coated wilderness, 57-year-old funeral home owner Scott Janssen barks, “Straight! Straight!” to his sled dogs barreling toward a checkpoint 311 miles into the famed, grueling and controversial 1,000-mile...

The most scenic spot in every state

Fri, 6 Apr 2018 15:10:03 PDT

One of the best parts of traveling is appreciating the beauty of your destination, and in America, there's no shortage of stunning vistas, beautiful trails, and pretty towns in every state. While we may not have centuries worth of iconic landmarks like Europe does, our nation is known for its outstanding...

If the Boston Marathon is too easy, try these crazy runs

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 07:08:00 PDT

For runners, one of the most storied-and feared-stretches is Heartbreak Hill, 20 miles into the Boston Marathon. The 90-foot elevation gain over one-third of a mile would be a painful climb in any marathon, but here it's compounded because it occurs at the distance where many runners hit the proverbial...

Hotel or commune? New wave of lodging is aimed at digital nomads who want more than Wi-Fi connection

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 06:20:00 PDT

Eyes closed, poised in a lotus position, I mentally slip away from our morning mindfulness instruction to meditate on the joy that we might offer the world today.

I also wonder: What do I think of this place we’re staying — a place my wife likes to call “the commune?”

Others call it Roam Miami,...

Chill out or be chilled in St. Augustine after dark

Sat, 31 Mar 2018 21:05:00 PDT

Hair standing up on the back of the neck? Check.

Chill running down spine? Check.

No one standing behind you? Double check.

St. Augustine visitors traditionally pack the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown during the day, soaking up historic landmarks amid art galleries, restaurants and shops...

Away from the theme parks, Orlando area offers dining thrills

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 06:30:00 PDT

Local food blogger Ricky Ly is guiding me through the iFresh supermarket, an Asian store in the Mills 50 district of the city.

Taiwanese pastries are among the specialties, he explains, gesturing to a 20-foot-long display case filled with everything from mango cream cheese buns to pineapple buns...

Washington, D.C., cherry blossoms have reached peak bloom

Sat, 7 Apr 2018 18:25:00 PDT

If you want to see the famous cherry blossoms of Washington this year, now is the time, according to the National Park Service.

The blossoms reached peak bloom on Thursday, the agency said on its “Bloom Watch” site.

The peak bloom date is when 70 percent of the blossoms are open. The best time...

A new model for travel? Pay a local $25 a day to plan a trip

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 07:28:00 PDT

Is a company called ViaHero creating a new model for travel?

For a flat fee of $25 a day, travelers can use a service called ViaHero to hire locals on the ground to plan out their trips, arranging everything from lodging and airport pickup to sightseeing and dining. The service combines authentic...

TSA scanners can confuse food, explosives; some travelers forced to remove munchies from carry-ons

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:26:00 PDT

You've taken off your shoes and removed your laptop from your carry-on bag to go through airport security screening.

You candy bar may be next.

Although it's OK to board an airplane with food, some Transportation Security Administration agents have been asking travelers to remove their food from...

Myrtle Beach works to become an autism-friendly destination

Tue, 3 Apr 2018 07:32:00 PDT

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has a busy boardwalk and all kinds of attractions, from mini-golf courses and water parks to a zip line and a Ferris wheel. So it might not be an obvious destination for families with kids on the autism spectrum who may be easily overwhelmed by noise and commotion....

A klutz's guide to a weekend at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 06:30:00 PDT

The last time I visited the Grand Canyon, I was a teenager … eons ago. But hey, compared with the national park’s age — 2 billion years or so — I’m a youngster. Last spring, my husband and I arrived at the South Rim and immediately took a hike on the steep Bright Angel Trail. Plot twist: I twisted...

7 travel gadgets you should pack in your carry-on

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 12:15:00 PDT

Traveling brings challenges both maddening and mundane: fees for overweight suitcases, tight fits in overhead bins, lost luggage and ever-shifting security policies. Fortunately, gadget makers have your back, inventing all kinds of new devices that may bail you out on a trip and still fit in a...

What you need to know about flying with service and emotional support animals

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 07:05:00 PDT

The uproar over emotional support animals in aircraft cabins took wing again with the recent rejection of a peacock as a proper companion. But if a person needs that animal, what’s the big deal?

It becomes apparent after reading the regulations in the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Air...

European river cruises get radical makeover with immersive experiences, exercise

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 18:05:00 PDT

River cruising in Europe is redefining itself with itineraries that are “curated” to individual tastes, a new emphasis on active touring options (snowshoeing in the Black Forest, anyone?) and staff positions like “adventure host.”

That’s right, adventure host.

It’s a pretty radical makeover. As...

Be aware of laws while traveling, or you'll court trouble

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:15:00 PDT

Oh, the legal trouble Americans get themselves into when they're abroad.

"They dress immodestly," says Sheryl Hill, the executive director of Depart Smart, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving travel safety. "They bring banned medications. They make inappropriate gestures. I've heard...

Taco trucks and beyond: San Antonio, home to Final Four, has a winning food scene

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 06:20:00 PDT

My good friends Ariela and Elliot are longtime New Yorkers who fled the Big Apple for Austin two years ago, got priced out and ended up in San Antonio. It’s a common story these days.

When I meet up with them in San Antonio, along the hipster-y St. Mary’s Strip, I begin to understand why they chose...

Soak up the scenery, silence on a houseboat journey along Florida's St. Johns River

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 06:50:00 PDT

Somewhere in the deep green heart of central Florida, an eagle’s cry pierces the morning quiet. Soaring through the sunrise, she surveys her domain before landing in a cypress tree high above the St. Johns River. As she fortifies her nest, an alligator bellows from the riverbank. Together, they...

It's all about the cool water on a warm-weather escape to Arizona's Rim Country

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:00:00 PDT

It was August, and we were visiting relatives in Phoenix. And it was hot. Really hot. We needed to escape for a few days. But where? On a 90-minute drive north, we encountered clear mountain lakes, Ponderosa pine forests and afternoon monsoons. My husband, Paul, college son, Ben, and I settled...

Canoes, caves and indigenous culture: Adventure awaits in Mexico's San Luis Potosi

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 06:25:00 PDT

Imagine if you took a giant bottle of Champagne, shook it up, popped the cork and let the bubbles rush all over your body. Now imagine you’re 60 feet beneath the surface and strapped into scuba gear when it happens. That, in essence, is the riotous joy one experiences when floating above a geothermal...

The gorgeous and the grim in Dublin, Ireland — and the green hills beyond

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 06:30:00 PDT

Maybe you can’t get to Ireland for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But let me take you now to Dublin’s most gorgeous library, its grimmest address and a country ruin where, 16 centuries ago, St. Patrick himself might have done something startling.

All three spots won me over last spring,...

Gibraltar draws visitors with curious monkeys and Britain-meets-the-Mediterranean vibe

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 12:03:00 PDT

I’ve dodged elk on the road in Colorado, buffalo roaming the pavement in Wyoming, oblivious gaggles of sheep on the twisting Connemara byways in Ireland, and heedless white-tailed deer darting across my own street in northern Virginia.

But monkeys?

That’s what the warning signs said — “SLOW,” with...

Peak bloom for DC's cherry blossoms delayed by frigid temps

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:34:00 PDT

The peak bloom period for Washington, D.C.'s cherry blossoms has been pushed back. The National Park Service announced Monday afternoon that it is pushing back the peak bloom date from the March 17-to-20 window to March 27 to 31 due to colder-than-expected temperatures. Peak bloom occurs when 70...

Before-and-after views of the Caribbean island of St. Martin six months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Tue, 6 Mar 2018 11:20:00 PST

Before and after look at the Carribean island of St. Martin six months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria

7 things to do in Florida’s outdoors this spring

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 14:45:00 PST

There is no better time of year to enjoy the outdoors in every corner of Florida. The weather is consistently perfect, even as we face the prospect of another hot, muggy summer in a few months.

The crush of spring visitors is testament to what those of use who live here already know: It's time...

35 European landmarks you need to visit

Mon, 5 Mar 2018 11:10:06 PST

Landmarks are landmarks for a reason. While they can often draw tourists in such large numbers that restaurants start to take advantage of it, areas get crowded, and locals get annoyed, they're still spots that are worthy of consideration for the thoughtful traveler. Europe, with its centuries...

17 hacks for booking last-minute spring break deals

Mon, 5 Mar 2018 15:10:00 PST

As winter draws to a close and the weather in the Northern Hemisphere begins to improve (climate change notwithstanding), now is the time to think about your spring vacation plans. Even if you're not in school anymore or don't have any kids who are, it's important to take a spring break to shake...

Baltimore's Sagamore Pendry makes Travel + Leisure list of best new hotels in world

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 11:30:00 PST

Baltimore gets to hobnob with the likes of Madagascar, Beverly Hills, Paris and Dubai in a magazine best-of list that dubs the Sagamore Pendry one of the planet’s top new hotels.

The hotel inside Fells Point’s historic Recreation Pier made Travel + Leisure’s list earlier this month of “The Best...

TripAdvisor's top 20 beaches in the U.S. and abroad

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 06:16:00 PST

When the Chicago winter becomes just too much to bear, look no further than TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice awards for the best beaches in the U.S. and around the world. The winners are based on the quantity and quality of travelers' reviews and ratings. 

White sand and clear water seemed to be...

Want a destination wedding? 9 popular spots to tie the knot

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 06:50:00 PST

When Ali Phillips wants to know where the next destination wedding hot spot will be, all she has to do is turn on the TV.

“It’s really ridiculous to admit, but if ‘The Bachelor’ or the Kardashians go somewhere, all of a sudden everyone wants to go there,” says Phillips, president of Engaging Events...

8 reasons to visit Sarasota, starting with the circus

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:38:00 PDT

The Sunshine State has so many attractions that it’s difficult for potential visitors to know where to start. Should it be the beaches of the Panhandle or Miami’s South Beach; the horse country around Ocala or the Mouse Kingdom in Orlando; the Florida of yesterday at Captiva or the Florida of tomorrow...

Mid-Atlantic bucket list: Must-see places in Maryland, D.C, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

Thu, 1 Mar 2018 05:35:00 PST

Every week for a year, The Baltimore Sun's Travel Unraveled newsletter is sharing a new must-visit destination in the Mid-Atlantic region. Using our app? View the list at Suggest a place Get newsletter Fill out my online form. Week 44: Wine country Kim Hairston/Baltimore...

Across Austin, a freewheeling Tour de Taco

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 06:52:00 PST

The year 2016 opened a deep and divisive rift between two factions already prone to distrust each other. A battle for supremacy raged, insults flew and a long-simmering culture war reignited.

This rift had nothing to do with President Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton , with coastal elites or rural...

On the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera art trail in Mexico City

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:53:00 PST

With her unibrow, braided updo, colorful clothing and mustache, the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has become an idiosyncratic cult figure in the United States. Kahlo has an equally passionate following in her native Mexico City. Her face is plastered on everything from handbags and jewelry to...

Thu, 1 Mar 2018 07:53:00 PST

Think of beer and you may think of Irish pubs or Germany's Oktoberfest. But a National Geographic book called the "Atlas of Beer" surveys beer across six continents, from banana beer in Tanzania to beer aged in wine barrels in Argentina.

"We like to seek out and drink the local beer or just see...

Help Squad: How can someone booking an airline flight wind up with a train ticket?

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:13:00 PST

Dear Help Squad,

I had a bad experience with Expedia. My itinerary said I was taking a United flight from Newark to Tweed New Haven Airport, but when I checked in the morning of, what was to be a boarding pass was a message that I needed to get an Amtrak train ticket at the airport. This caused...

Igloo hotels and ice bars around the world

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 06:32:00 PST

Ice ice baby!

Ice bars and hotels were posh before Super Bowl LII, but Minneapolis certainly did the trend a favor with its array of frigid attractions.

And while it may seem counterintuitive to seek out chilly hangouts during winter, these beautiful locales made of ice might just change your mind.


8 cities worth a guys trip for March Madness

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:15:00 PST

When it comes to excuses for a guys weekend, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is as good as it gets. We can safely squeeze our heart-to-heart chats into the gaps between shouts at the ref and trips to the bar. And the nonstop game action of the first two rounds is the perfect accompaniment...

Laos remakes itself as an adventure center, an evolution that serves the country and its visitors well

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 05:00:00 PST

Vangviang hugs the Nam Song River in front of craggy mountains that stand like sentries in a magic kingdom. In the morning and late afternoon, fog settles below the mountain peaks, turning the small town into an Oriental tapestry.

Vangviang is more than just a pretty face. It’s the center for adventure...

I, spy: New Manhattan attraction offers espionage history

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

Hello, recruit. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Learn about the elements of spying, its history, and find out what kind of spy you could be. That's the order of the day at SPYSCAPE, a new attraction opening Friday in Manhattan, where visitors can get a glimpse of spying's past and...

Beyond the racetrack: Indianapolis offers first class art and a great food scene

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:58:00 PST

When I think of Indianapolis, I think about art. That may not be true for everyone who visits the "Crossroads of America," a place often associated with fast cars (the Indianapolis 500), sports fanaticism (the Pacers and Colts, for starters) and towering monuments. (The capital city of Indiana...

Magic and music filled New Orleans as city celebrated its tricentennial

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:46:00 PST

There are close to 100 stations on my Pandora playlist, ranging from classical and folk to rock and hip hop. Despite the selection of artists and songs at my fingertips, I always seem to find myself choosing jazz. It’s comfort music, soothing my soul at the end of a long day, beckoning a liberal...

For better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook Messenger

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:32:00 PST

When Karen Korr wanted to change part of her European itinerary, she didn't call Travelocity, her online travel agency. She didn't send an email or a text message, either.

Instead, Korr, who works for a nonprofit organization in San Diego, clicked on Travelocity's Facebook page and sent the company...

Photos: Iconic film locations worth traveling for

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:49:00 PST

Winter had trespassed into spring the day I visited Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria, where Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp children sang and danced their way through "Do-Re-Mi." Snowflakes stuck to my nose and eyelashes and also found their icy way down my neck.

Not that I cared. As a fan...

Pilot program allows Disney World guests to bring dogs

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:26:00 PST

At sunset on a warm January evening, I walked my dog along the edge of a man-made lake at Walt Disney World's Art of Animation Resort. She sniffed the grass and marked her territory while I kept my eye out for alligators and staffers' ubiquitous golf carts hauling guests' luggage to and from their...

Picking the right home rental for a Mexico beach vacation

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:38:00 PST

Long before Airbnb was a thing, my family rented houses for our holidays rather than stay in hotels. Houses were easier with small children who needed room to run. We liked going to markets in foreign countries and cooking with fresh, local ingredients. And we liked vacationing with friends.