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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: Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:49:41 -0700

Copyright: ©2016 Los Angeles Times

If you're dining in D.C., here's what's new, what's cool and why you need to stop worrying about calories

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 07:00:00 PDT

Is the nation’s capital a great food city? 

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema thinks so. Last year, he ranked his town as ninth on a list of top 10 food cities (L.A. was No. 3).

He called D.C.'s reputation “obsolete,” adding: “The days when where you sat was more important than what you...


National park tips: How to get into the Statue of Liberty's crown

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

First of all, give thanks for your good luck. The stairs to Lady Liberty’s crown seem to close every few years because of safety or budget issues, but they’ve been open since October 2013. It’s 377 steps from the lobby to the  crown. You can cover some distance by elevator, but there’s no avoiding...


I know where I'll be staying in Washington D.C., but here are more hotels to consider

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

I saw many new, renewed and soon-to-open hotels in Washington, D.C., in September. But the place that got me thinking was one of the city’s oldest lodgings: the Tabard Inn.

Opened in 1922, the Tabard Inn (1739 N St. N.W.; [202] 785-1277) is a hotel and restaurant occupying three conjoined 19th...


Better off than you were eight years ago? Washington, D.C., is

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — You’re worried about the next president. I’m here to change the subject. But only a little.

That next U.S. president, looking out at Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day Jan. 20, will see a different city from the one that President Obama saw in January 2009. The nation’s capital...


National park tips: Yep, you should see Rushmore. But about the sculptor...

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

If you’re on the road anywhere near South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is mandatory. But sidestep the ticky-tacky tourist compound of Keystone, S.D. (nearest town to Rushmore).

Instead, stay 24 miles away in pleasant, historic Rapid City. If you’re photographing the faces, the light...


Beach party and discount rooms make for good deal at this Carlsbad inn

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 07:30:00 PDT

It’s the little things that add up to make this hotel deal a sweet steal. West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad, Calif., marks its first decade with rooms starting at $139 and a pop-up beach party for you and your family.

The deal: With this Throw Back hotel offer, you can snag a king deluxe room for $139,...


First a cocktail ice bar wowed Las Vegas. Now there's a Caviar Room.

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:30:00 PDT

Caviar, that most luxurious of delicacies, is getting the star treatment at one Las Vegas eatery. Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace has opened a room that will serve nothing but caviar dishes.

This is a place to unwind in style— it’s located in the restaurant’s lounge — and spend a lot of...


National park tips: This New Mexico monument has the best guest register in the West

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

Here in wide-open New Mexico, you’re very close to the middle of nowhere – 56 miles south of Gallup, 44 miles west of Grants. But this is also the best guest ledger in the West.

Over more than five centuries, some 2,000 passers-through have carved their names and messages in the sandstone of El...


Here's why you may not get free drinks in Las Vegas anymore

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:00:00 PDT

Time was Las Vegas casinos served free booze so you would stay and gamble — and maybe loosen up enough to play even more. Now a few big casino companies are shifting gears by rewarding certain gamblers and leaving others high and dry.

Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts are experimenting with...


A quick getaway to the London Bridge, in Lake Havasu City

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 06:30:00 PDT

Many grown-ups fondly remember their beer-infused visits to Lake Havasu City, but the Arizona community is more than a spring-break destination for college kids. The lake attracts couples and families too. It’s particularly pleasing in fall after the thermometer drops from summer highs that can...


National park tips: Here's where you can climb into someone's 13th-century home

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is only 90 minutes’ drive from tourist-friendly Durango, Colo., but many tourists never make the side trip. Do it.

Mesa Verde has about 600 cliff dwellings, many dating to the 13th century. In 1906, it became the first national park to focus on something made...


Let someone else do the planning on this RV road trip up California's central coast

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:00:00 PDT

Hit the road, Jack, and crank up the radio for a road trip by RV. Tracks & Trails’ driving itinerary winds up the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco, with stops in Santa Barbara, San Simeon, Big Sur and Monterey.

The 11-day trip includes time to ferry to Channel Islands National Park and hike...


Singer and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan snags another title: sculptor

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:20:00 PDT

Bob Dylan has released 48 albums, penned more than 600 songs and, as of last week, won a Nobel Prize. But what he really likes to do is weld.

At least that’s one of his passions. A product of Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dylan has sculpted ironwork for friends and family for a long time. It wasn’t until...


Top 17 for 2017: Best new attractions coming to U.S. theme parks

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:00:00 PDT

At first I thought it was too early to look ahead at the new attractions coming to U.S. theme parks in 2017. Then I realized a number of big rides have already been announced and many more are already in the planning stages.

It already seems like 2017 is shaping up as a good year for ride enthusiasts...


Gay cowboys bring the Wild West back to Las Vegas

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:00:00 PDT

Barrel racing, bull riding and roping will rule when the World Gay Rodeo Finals return to Las Vegas this weekend. And they may change attitudes about the LGBT community too.

“We are just as tough as anybody else,” said Laura Scott, director of the event at South Point Hotel-Casino’s equestrian...


If you're planning to party down on vacation, you might want to skip grieving Thailand for now

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:30:00 PDT

If you’re going to Thailand anytime soon, expect to find a subdued nation deep in mourning over the loss of the country’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who ruled for seven decades. He died Oct. 13  at age 88.

Travelers should be sensitive to the 30 days of public mourning and 100 days of royal...


National park tips: Ride a tram to the top of St. Louis' 630-foot Gateway Arch

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

If you head to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis this year, you might find scaffolding underneath that gorgeous 630-foot-high silver frame. The National Park Service and local leaders are working on $250 million in upgrades to weave together the arch, the Mississippi River, new landscaping and the...


After first snow blasts the Sierra, one ski resort plans to open on Halloween

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 08:15:00 PDT

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe in Nevada plans to be the first California-Nevada ski resort to open for the season. After 7 to 18 inches of snow fell in the first storm of the season, the resort 25 miles south of Reno announced Tuesday that it plans to open Oct. 31.

The resort has a base elevation of more...


10 best European hotels from U.S. News & World Report. London's Lanesborough is No. 1

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 08:00:00 PDT

You can make this your bucket list of luxury hotels in Europe. U.S. News & World Report selected the Lanesborough in a historic London building as the No. 1 must-stay luxury hotel.

The hotel began life as St. George’s Hospital in 1733. The hospital has long cleared off, but the grand building at...


Deal: $50 lift tickets on Mammoth Mountain ski area's opening day

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:30:00 PDT

Mammoth Mountain ski area fires up for the season on Nov. 10, with $50 opening-day lift tickets to lure early-bird bargain hunters.

The deal: The Mammoth Lakes ski resort, a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, will also offer free coffee and hot cocoa to mark its season opening.

You can buy $50 adult...


National park tips: These big Yosemite trees are off-limits until next year

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

If your heart is set on a stroll through Yosemite National Park’s Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias, wait until next year. It's closed for restoration until spring 2017.

In the meantime, remember that Sequoia and Kings Canyon have plenty of big trees — including General Sherman, said to be the largest...


Why you don't necessarily have to spend hundreds to fly comfortably

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:30:00 PDT

Question: I am 6 feet, 5 inches tall. Could you please give me a few tips on obtaining  maximum legroom without having to pay for a first-class seat? A little extra for exit seating is OK.

Stu Lovett


Answer: Among the keys to comfortable airline seating are your femur and Spirit Airlines....


Find adventure on Kauai's dirt roads and the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:00:00 PDT

Sleepy Waimea town, in western Kauai 20 miles from the resorts in Poipu, is a remote but ideal base for exploring Waimea Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”), the Kalalau Overlook atop the green wrinkles of the Na Pali Coast and the quaint towns of Koloa and Hanapepe. I hit Kauai’s red dirt...


Honolulu's best cocktail bars are disguised as furniture stores and hidden in office buildings

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

By the 29th hour of my weekend visit to Honolulu, I had developed a craving for a proper cocktail. The Post-it note-yellow concoctions my friend and I had sampled at Duke’s Waikiki were right for a couple of just-off-the-plane visitors, but now it was time to get serious about sipping. We found...


National park tips: In Yosemite, early birds get worms, views and sometimes vows

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:00:00 PDT

At Yosemite National Park, Tunnel View can be murder at midday. If you arrive before 9 a.m., you’ll have more fun. That will put you ahead of most of the tour buses and many of the cars. You might even catch a bride and groom in a solemn act. The park’s leading wedding preacher, the Rev. Autrey...