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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, 24 Jun 2017 11:54:23 -0700

Copyright: ©2017 Los Angeles Times

Record travel predicted when Americans kick back for July 4 holiday. Gas, airfares drop over last year

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:00:00 PDT

Independence Day is the third-busiest travel period in the year. Only Christmas/New Year's and Thanksgiving top it.(image)

A mystical weekend escape in New Mexico

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:30:00 PDT

“You must see Quarai,” said the friend we were visiting in Albuquerque. “It’s a mystical place.” Eager for a spiritual fix, my husband, Paul, and I drove southeast from the city to this Spanish mission ruin [122 Manzano Quarai Road, Mountainair, N.M.; (505) 847-2585,], one of three...


Feeling roasted as summer kicks in? Cool off with these adventures along California lakes, rivers and waterfalls

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

I found seven water-based adventures in Northern California, including rafting, a sundial bridge and an armada of houseboats.(image)

Death Valley temperatures may hit 128 on summer's first day. The heat may give you bragging rights. Or it can kill you

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:35:00 PDT

Visitors to Death Valley on Tuesday won’t need reminder that summer has arrived. The forecast is for sunny and 128, with — surprise — a zero chance of rain.

On Saturday, rangers at Death Valley National Park recorded the first 120-degree day of the year, and even hotter temperatures are predicted...


Sail away with the heroes of 'Star Wars' and Marvel adventures

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:30:00 PDT

May the Force be with you, and you and you.

And if “Star Wars” heroes aren't exciting enough to make your day, throw in Marvel's superheroes and supervillains, who will fight battles of epic proportions while you stand at the sidelines watching — or maybe you'll even participate.

It's all part...


Florida for fall? LAX to Daytona for $251, all fees and taxes included

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

Just for when the warm summer weather breaks — at least a little — American Airlines is offering a round-trip fare from LAX to Daytona Beach, Fla., for $251.

The deal, which runs from Sept. 12 to Oct. 31, includes all taxes and fees.

A limited number of seats will be offered at this price. Tuesday...


Yes, pro dart players do exist, and they’re about to descend on Vegas. They're saving a spot for you to compete

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:00:00 PDT

Let’s get right to the point: If you want to attend one of the summer’s big sporting events in Las Vegas — the darts championship — you probably should act fast.

Stop smirking. Darts is hugely popular around the world. That explains why tickets are reportedly selling like hotcakes for the World...


Add a little Oprah to your life with Holland America's new O Magazine program

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:30:00 PDT

Get those yoga mats ready.

Holland America Line plans to help its passengers turn over a new leaf, thanks to a partnership with Oprah Winfrey and O Magazine.

"Inspired by Oprah to live their best life, guests on our North American departures will enjoy morning meditation and healthy eating tips,"...


Hop into the cockpit of a WWII plane for a first-hand look at Pearl Harbor attack

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:45:00 PDT

By air and by sea, visitors to Oahu have two new ways to see the sights of Honolulu.

Certainly the more spectacular is the just-launched Pearl Harbor Warbirds experiences, in which people take to the skies in actual World War II planes.

During the “Admiral’s Warbird Experience,” guests hop into...


New Quebec park offers cruise ship passengers a greener, grander welcome

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:30:00 PDT

Some people describe the French-Canadian city of Quebec as “France without the attitude.” Others laud it for its scenery and excellent cuisine.

All those attributes contribute to its popularity with cruise passengers, especially during the prime fall color cruise season, when it is a highlight...


Light art installation in Golden Gate Park will be latest tribute to San Francisco's Summer of Love

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

Fifty years on, San Francisco’s Summer of Love has become a glossy flashback to the time young people came to the city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to start a cultural revolution.

A new kind of flower power tribute begins Wednesday in Golden Gate Park when the plain white Conservatory of Flowers...


Out of the cave and into the limelight: a Branson attraction's success story

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:30:00 PDT

Imagine working six long days a week alongside family members. Then try doing it for 50 years and you’ll have the formula that has turned Branson, Mo., into a powerhouse of live entertainment.

The Presleys’ Country Jubilee, a variety show that will celebrate its 50th anniversary June 30, remains...


Travel ranking rates small towns: Can you guess which California locale takes the prize?

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:00:00 PDT

Hint: It's in wine country. U.S. News & World Report also ranks parks and cities. Rome tops the magazine's global list.(image)

Cunard's crossword cruise salutes the New York Times puzzle's 75th year

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:30:00 PDT

Want more than a little wordplay on your next cruise? Consider the New York Times Crossword Crossing, a transatlantic sailing on the Queen Mary 2 that marks the 75th anniversary of the beloved puzzle.

Expect daily crossword games, tutorials on how to create puzzles, tournaments, word-laced cocktail...


Save up to 25% on Priority Pass to airport lounges worldwide

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:15:00 PDT

Here’s one way to take the sting out of flying: Relax in airport lounges around the world with a Priority Pass membership. Buy one now and save up to 25%.

The deal: Priority Pass is honored at 1,000-plus lounges worldwide, regardless of which airline you are flying or what loyalty program you belong...


Check out Vegas' remarkable public art, from 'Popeye' to a winged jackalope

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

Some of Las Vegas’ best artworks are hidden in plain sight. The city’s resorts have spent many millions on art in lobbies or on the grounds. Some are permanent displays, others change out.

The newest example is a work by artist Anne Patterson, which brings the bright blue desert sky indoors at ...


During Las Vegas Restaurant Week, eating well means doing good

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:00:00 PDT

For the next couple of weeks, more than 150 Las Vegas restaurants are offering special menus at special prices. Dining out June 19-30 in Las Vegas benefits a local food bank.(image)

Tanzania's Tinga Tinga style, the African version of velvet Elvises, leaves an indelible print on visitors

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:00:00 PDT

It was time to paint the second giraffe.

“What color do you want him?” Mwatatu Swathe, our tour guide for the day, asked. “Blue? Green? It’s Tinga Tinga. It can be anything.”

But Thomas Bosco, my art instructor, had other ideas. He squirted red, orange, brown and yellow paint from used water bottles...


Some European cruise lines are making it easier (and cheaper) for singles to go it alone

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

Solo cruisers, who are usually charged for two people even though they're traveling alone, can catch a break with some companies that are waiving the additional charge this year and next.

European Waterways, which runs hotel-style barges on Europe's rivers, announced last week that it is eliminating...


A decade after our passport discontent, can the snarls of 2007's passport application process repeat themselves?

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

The first step in planning a trip abroad is not your plane tickets, not your accommodations, not your on-the-ground transportation. It’s your passport, and this year it’s even more important. We must prepare like it’s 2007 again. Except that your eyeglasses won’t be a problem. Read on.




It's Namibia's purity, its untouched qualities, that compel people to visit, then never want to leave

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

As my older daughter prepared last summer to take off for college, there was just one thing left to do: Kidnap her and take her someplace where there is little Wi-Fi, no boyfriend and no threat of exams. It had to be lovely, exciting and adventurous, somewhere we could forge memories she would...


The gift to travelers visiting Zanzibar, the Spice Island, is right under their noses

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:00:00 PDT

“Here. What do you think this is?” Genes Salema, our guide for the day, crushed a handful of green leaves in his hands and held them out to us.

We leaned down and inhaled. The scent was bracing, piquant, familiar. Pumpkin pie? Spiced cider? But what spice? We started guessing. Cinnamon? Nutmeg?


In Zambia, a safari means going with the flow

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 05:00:00 PDT

Less than an hour after stepping off the airplane in Livingstone, I had already witnessed elephants drinking from the mighty Zambezi River, watched baboons monkeying around on an ivory beach and stared down a bloat of hippos soaking on a sandbar.

These kinds of encounters would become routine during...


Whimsical stalactites bathed in colored lights make this Chinese landmark a must-see

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 06:00:00 PDT

Nabil Soliman and his wife, Janet, traveled to China for two weeks in March. The Bel Air residents visited Xian, Beijing, Shanghai and the Reed Flute Cave (named for the reeds that grow outside the entrance) in Guilin.

The couple, semi-retired physicians, were in “awe” of what Soliman called the...


Trump's proposed changes to U.S.-Cuba travel rules won't affect cruises, group tours

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:00:00 PDT

If you booked an ocean cruise or group tour to Cuba before President Trump announced his policy shift Friday, don’t panic.

Cruises and group tours are unaffected by planned revisions to travel rules eased last year under President Obama. Flights by U.S. commercial airlines also will continue.