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Preview: L.A. Times - Travel

L.A. Times - Travel

Our travel writers bring you the most fascinating destinations on the planet. Scour travel deals, find vacations, get travel tips and more.

Last Build Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2018 17:41:16 -0800

Copyright: ©2018 Los Angeles Times

Parks and passports are among the many things that could be affected by a government shutdown

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:40:00 PST

The government shutdown could wreak havoc on your visit to a unit of the National Park Service and the speed with which you can get a passport.

If your plans include a visit to any one of the 417 National Parks, you might want to call ahead, especially because it was not completely clear Friday...


Quirky places to eat on your next trip, like that prison in Massachusetts

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:15:00 PST

Food inspires travel. About 22 million Americans were expected to take a culinary vacation in 2017, according to an AAA survey. Three-quarters of those surveyed said food and dining were an important part of their experiences when they were on the road. Here are four surprising places where food...


Where do the grumpiest travelers come from? D.C. takes the top prize

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:00:00 PST

More grumpy travelers come from Washington, D.C., than any other location in the country, with Colorado and Oregon second and third, according to a study of hotel reviews nationwide.

California? Always a top-10 finisher, the Golden State came in fourth. You got a problem with that?

The happiest...


101 Freeway reopening delayed until at least Monday. Amtrak adds extra trains to accommodate more travelers

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 06:00:00 PST

The 101 Freeway in the Santa Barbara area won’t open until at least Jan. 22, Caltrans tweeted Monday. The agency cited continuing cleanup plus storms predicted this week for the ongoing closure between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara.

Until the road reopens, the quickest way to travel to and from...


Fiji in your future? Act fast for an $847 round-trip ticket from LAX to the South Pacific country

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:20:00 PST

You can be lolling under palm trees in the far South Pacific thanks to this fare from Fiji Airways: $847 round trip from LAX, including all taxes and fees.

It covers travel for most of the year too: Feb. 1 through Oct. 31.

But you have to make up your mind quickly. Tickets must be booked by Jan....


Got a day to spend in Sacramento? Make it free-admission Museum Day

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:00:00 PST

Planning a trip to California’s state capital? More than 25 museums in Sacramento will open their doors to visitors for free or half-price admission Feb. 3 on the city’s 20th Museum Day.

The deal: You likely won’t have time to visit all the Museum Day sites in one day. It’s worth checking out the...


Watch snowboarding and freeskiing U.S. Olympic finals at Mammoth Mountain this weekend — for free

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:40:00 PST

Mammoth Mountain ski area will host snowboarding and freeskiing competitions this weekend to determine who will represent the U.S. at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Visitors can see qualifying and final events for free from the main lodge or along the course at the Mammoth...


Come out and count bald eagles in Southern California, no experience required

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:30:00 PST

Wanted: Volunteers, a.k.a. citizen scientists, to help count the number of bald eagles wintering over in Southern California — no experience necessary. It’s the 39th year that the U.S. Forest Service and California State Parks have organized the seasonal count to monitor how many eagles come to...


Rudi Sodamin plays with his food. Holland America celebrates its master chef's 'Food Faces' in a novel way

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:15:00 PST

Pop-up restaurants aboard the cruise line's ships will serve dishes designed with Sodamin's creations.(image)

Escape to California's quaint Moss Landing for a family weekend filled with kayaking and fresh seafood

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:00:00 PST

The quaint fishing village of Moss Landing caught my attention a few years ago as I was driving along California’s Central Coast between Santa Cruz and Monterey. My wife, our two kids and I finally got to explore the area in the fall. Moss Landing, founded in the 1800s as a seaport, is at the mouth...


Highway 33 north of Ojai is closed until early February

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:55:00 PST

Highway 33 north of Ojai won’t reopen at least until early February, ruling out using the mountain route as a detour around the big 101 Freeway closure from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara. Highway 33 from the 101 Freeway remains open to travelers heading to Ojai.

The roadway north of Ojai that winds...


Aliens on the Vegas Strip? New York-New York adds virtual reality to the Big Apple coaster

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:00:00 PST

The New York-New York Hotel & Casino will add a virtual reality experience to the Big Apple roller coaster, taking riders on an aerial adventure through the Nevada desert and over the Las Vegas Strip.

The new up-charge virtual reality experience, set to open Feb. 7, combines make-believe computer-animated...


With the Ojai Love package, you get a break on your hotel room, and the fire-stricken community gets a donation

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:30:00 PST

Ojai wants you to come visit. Ten hotels in the Ventura County mountain town are giving travelers a way to use their vacation dollars to help the community recover from December’s devastating Thomas fire.

Ojai Love gives visitors 10% off room prices as well as 10% off prices at 50 local restaurants,...


It's whale-watching season in Hawaii, and these creatures are ready to play

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:15:00 PST

Humpback whale-watching tours are in full swing in Hawaii, and some visitors are discovering the giant mammals to be curious creatures.

Last week a young, playful whale appeared beside some kayaks off the island of Maui, surprising five tourists and their guide.

“This whale was swimming about 40...


Ten memorable things you can do with a car in California (including 8 you'll enjoy)

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:00:00 PST

Your mileage (and opinion) may vary.

But in more than a year of roaming the state to compile our bucket list of 366 (and counting) compelling California destinations and adventures, my Travel section colleagues and I have found that some of our most memorable moments have happened while we were...


Winter stargazing party in the Santa Monica Mountains, and you're invited

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:15:00 PST

Take a tour of the night sky in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area on Saturday evening when the moon will be a thin crescent and night sky visibility should be good.

The Winter Star Party, hosted by the National Park Service and the Ventura County Astronomical Society, will be...


Who's the best drone pilot in the world? Las Vegas championship challenge will award $50,000 prize

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:00:00 PST

The world’s top 32 drone pilots will compete Saturday in Las Vegas for the world champion title in the International Drone Racing Assn.’s top challenge.

Semi-professionals wearing virtual reality headgear compete for a $50,000 cash prize in the Challengers Cup Final on Friday and Saturday at the...


Tour Botswana's wild side on a Friends of the Santa Ana Zoo safari

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 05:50:00 PST

Join Ron Glazier on an 11-day African safari to Botswana organized by the nonprofit Friends of the Santa Ana Zoo. Participants on the trip will explore the Makgadikgadi and Nxai national parks as well as the Okavango Delta.

Botswana, known for its diverse wildlife, is ideal for viewing rare, endangered...


Those four-digit flight designations? Their days may be numbered

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:00:00 PST

American’s Flight 1776 to Philadelphia? Hilarious.

Southwest’s Flight 1492 to Columbus, Ohio? Clever.

Alaska’s Flight 2738 to Portland? Not a side-splitter (and not meant to be), but I don’t blame Alaska, and it certainly exemplifies that problem that we’re talking about.

The fun flight numbers...


Samantha Brown hosts new PBS travel series called 'Places to Love'

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 05:45:00 PST

Another cruise company has jumped into TV show sponsorship as a way to entice new travelers into seeing the world.

AmaWaterways, with a fleet of 20 river boats cruising Europe, Asia and Africa, is backing a new Samantha Brown show called "Places to Love,” which is airing on public television nationwide,...


California Bucket List is a huge hit with this reader — and it's not over yet

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 07:00:00 PST

California Bucket List — one of the best things the Los Angeles Times has ever done. I looked forward every day to see what new adventure was awaiting me. Wish it would continue in 2018. I will miss it.

Thanks for bringing something so positive to my life when so much news is difficult to deal...


After fire and mudslides, Montecito struggles; Ventura and Santa Barbara counties rebound

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 06:30:00 PST

After December’s fires and early January’s floods, any visit to Santa Barbara County will require homework.

Caltrans said Friday that the 101 Freeway, from the Ventura-Santa Barbara county line to South Milpas Street in Santa Barbara, would remain closed indefinitely. For updates, check the agency’s...


After the fires, the road back to Napa and Sonoma counties

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 06:00:00 PST

I was driving California Highway 12 through the Napa-Sonoma wine country in mid-December when a low, dark cloud drifted into my peripheral vision. It was over a vineyard and seemed to be billowing — a scary sight after the October wildfires that killed at least 43 people and burned more than 245,000...


If getting a passport is an obstacle to taking a cruise, here are some trips that may not require that document

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 05:00:00 PST

Let’s say your family wants to take a cruise, but dear old Dad — or Aunt Meghan or sister Sara — won't take the time or spend the money to get a passport, which they’ll need on many cruises.

That’s because most foreign-flagged cruise ships — and most are registered in other countries — are required...


What's up for the weekend of Jan. 19-21: It's the Wild West or the British invasion

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 05:00:00 PST

From desert to ocean to the Wild West to the British Invasion, next weekend is a chance to play, sing, learn and maybe even do a little something to help others.

Santa Monica

Audience members help Annie Oakley and friends to victory over the awful Marvin Q. Moneypots in “Annie Oakley and the Princess...