Philadelphia
Jun21

Philadelphia

An Insider’s Perspective

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A Grand Vacation
Jun21

A Grand Vacation

Family trekking through artsy Sedona and the magnificent Grand Canyon

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Don’t Try This at Home
Feb28

Don’t Try This at Home

Observations from my month on an ostrich farm

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Always in Bloom
Jan31

Always in Bloom

Three of the Most Unique, Must-See U.S. Botanical Gardens

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A New Spin
Dec29

A New Spin

Classic American travel destinations from fresh perspectives

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Quintessential Hawaii
Nov30

Quintessential Hawaii

Slightly Off the Beaten Path

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125 Hours in Our Nation’s Capital
Nov01

125 Hours in Our Nation’s Capital

“Disney World or D.C.?” I asked Hayden, my almost 11-year-old son.

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Bora Bora
Oct03

Bora Bora

Jewel of the South Seas
Lose Yourself in the Ultimate Island Paradise

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Oktoberfest Chicago Style
Sep01

Oktoberfest Chicago Style

Celebrating the Windy City’s deeply rooted German heritage

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The Bright Lights of Bangkok
Aug01

The Bright Lights of Bangkok

Watching The King and I made me do it—a trip to Bangkok, Thailand on a whim.

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London Calling
Jul01

London Calling

Visiting London without delving into its celebrated landmarks and neighborhoods would be like trying to eat a chocolate bar without removing the wrapper. It’s more about what’s inside the jewel box than the jewelry case itself—not unexpected from the Brits, when you think about it.

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The (Low Key) Travel Bucket List
Jun07

The (Low Key) Travel Bucket List

Little adventures you won’t regret

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Brooklyn (boroughed in) Culture
May02

Brooklyn (boroughed in) Culture

The best way to immerse yourself in Brooklyn’s mix of hip and historic neighborhoods is on foot, meandering around, absorbing all the sights, sounds, and flavors. And when your tootsies get tired, just hail a taxi. The borough of Brooklyn’s glitzy neighboring island with the towering skyline has taken center stage for almost as long as it’s existed, but times have changed for Brooklyn, known as America’s first suburb. It’s become a...

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All In A Day’s Drive
Mar29

All In A Day’s Drive

Discover offbeat Texas during quick trips with friends and fam Sure, you can find plenty to do in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio—from music, art, and theater venues to sporting events and shopping galore. But if you venture away from Big City Texas, you’ll find plenty to see and do that might be a little quirky and a whole lot of fun. So grab your besties and your cameras and get ready to cross off some bucket...

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Escape to Florida!
Mar03

Escape to Florida!

OPAL Collection’s upscale resorts on Florida’s east and west coasts beckon the winter weary to come hither Texas winters are often unpredictable, but come March, you’re probably yearning for some great weather and abundant sunshine. Yep, sunshine mixed with velvet white sand, ocean waves, luxurious accommodations, and good eats is just what the doctor ordered. Thankfully, our not-so-distant-cousin Florida awaits. With pristine...

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Magical Upcountry Bali
Feb01

Magical Upcountry Bali

Tranquility, Culture, Art, and Adventure Wrapped in a Lush, Tropical Paradise Daily life, creativity, and nature blend seamlessly up on Bali’s Sayan Ridge, near the artist community of Ubud. Restorative tropical sounds, ancient Hindu temples, and emerald-green hills adorned with towering palms and undulating, hand-carved rice terraces whisk you far away from the frenzy of Western civilization. It’s a magical land where friendly people...

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Amazing India
Dec07

Amazing India

A Week in the Golden Triangle “Come to the exotic subcontinent,” India calls from afar. “Immerse yourself in a destination of dreams, romance, and a blend of sights and sounds that creates an unforgettable experience.” Even seasoned travelers are swept away by India, with its gleaming marble palaces, massive Mughal (Mogul) forts, and spice-inspired cuisine. Vibrant textiles and extraordinary hand-knotted Kashmir rugs drape the...

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5 Nights in Paris
Nov09

5 Nights in Paris

I took a deep breath and gazed up at the landmark France’s capital has been known for since the 1889 World’s Fair. The iron latticework looked like lace against the night sky. And then it began to sparkle. Hundreds of lights twinkled on and off making it seem as if the Eiffel Tower had been sprinkled with fairy dust. “Not bad for our first night in Paris,” I said, gripping my husband’s hand in excitement. “Not bad at all,” he agreed....

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Falling Head over Healdsburg
Oct03

Falling Head over Healdsburg

I say “wine country,” you say… bikes and hikes? I say “tasting room,” you say… olive oils? I say, if you’ve never traveled to Healdsburg, California, what are you waiting for? A charming blend of rural agriculture and world-class resorts, sophisticated wineries and traditional olive orchards, Healdsburg is everything you didn’t expect from wine country. About 80 miles north of San Francisco International Airport, Healdsburg is...

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Dreaming of a White Christmas In Aspen
Oct02

Dreaming of a White Christmas In Aspen

Aspen during Christmastime stirs the heart and awakens the senses like no other place. By day, fresh snowfall gleams under brilliant blue skies as annual festivities get underway, spreading cheer for everyone to enjoy. By night, crackling fires and mugs brimming with toasty beverages bring families and friends together in celebration of everything good and comforting. Retire for the evening after a fun-filled day, feeling peaceful,...

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Celebrate Autumn In Asheville
Sep10

Celebrate Autumn In Asheville

As the dog days of summer wane, autumn beckons to us all. You can almost feel the crisp air, smell the wonderful fall aromas, and visualize foliage so vibrant you want to reach out and touch it. That’s when it’s time to head to Asheville, North Carolina. Each year, autumn-loving visitors from around the world slip into town to drink in the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains ablaze with color, fill their hearts with laughter and joy...

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Best Family Beach Vacation
Aug06

Best Family Beach Vacation

Soft white sand, the rhythmic sound of sea on shore, and multiple generations gathered under the summer sun. These are just a few of the elements of the quintessential escape many look forward to all year. Along the Northwest Coast of Florida, in the Destin and Fort Walton Beach area, all this and more awaits, making it our pick this year for the best place for a family beach vacation.   STAY: There are many options when it comes...

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Leisure Time
Apr06

Leisure Time

Imagine lying in a hammock on a thatched-roofed balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea, gazing up at a star-filled sky and listening to waves crash against a white sandy shore. It doesn’t have to be something you imagine. This indulgent form of leisure is waiting at Mahekal Beach Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. By Abby Hoeffner Nestled between the dense Riviera Maya jungle and Playa del Carmen’s largest stretch of private beach...

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How To Plan To Travel
Mar25

How To Plan To Travel

Always wanted to see the Taj Mahal up close or lounge on beach somewhere exotic? Well, you can. Here’s how. By LaRue V. Baber If you start drooling every time you see ancient ruins in faraway places or crystal-clear water hugging white sandy beaches— either on a television screen, a postcard or within the glossy pages of a magazine—then it’s time. Time to travel. But maybe you have no clue what to do. Travel plans? Currency changes?...

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Desert Renewal
Jan01

Desert Renewal

Revive Your Body and Mind in Phoenix, Arizona By Abby Hoeffner The air was crisp and the sun intense as Granger—the plaid shirt and cowboy hat wearing guide at Fort McDowell Adventures—held my horse’s head while I climbed in the saddle. The day before I had caught the short flight to Phoenix for a long weekend of nature communing, exploration and relaxation. Though I had jogged through the manicured grounds and cactus garden of The...

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Escape the Chill in Carlsbad, California
Aug10

Escape the Chill in Carlsbad, California

With winter temperatures in Carlsbad, California hovering around the mid-sixties a family retreat to this sunny shore is a welcome respite from our frequent artic blasts. Just 25 minutes north of San Diego, this gem of a town sits along the Pacific coast. Whether you choose to jaunt off for a fun long weekend or stay for an entire week, there is plenty for the whole family to do. Perhaps the most widely known attraction in Carlsbad is...

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Eat, Relax and Take in the History in San Antonio
Jul14

Eat, Relax and Take in the History in San Antonio

Just a short drive away, San Antonio offers not only an easy weekend trip, but also enough to do to fill an entire week. With everything from top-notch cuisine to time spent on the popular River Walk, learning about Texas history or just taking the time for some R & R—complete with spas and golf—no matter your reason for a getaway, San Antonio covers all the bases when it comes to keeping visitors happy. Cuisine San Antonio’s...

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Gateway Canyon, Colorado
May15

Gateway Canyon, Colorado

A Place of Discovery Cradled in the shadow of the Palisade rock formation and fringing the Moab Desert, rests Gateway Canyons, a one-of-a-kind resort with more than 6,000 acres of natural splendor to explore at its most primitive state, including one of the only locations in the world where Precambrian rock is still visible by the human eye. Just steps away from one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils on the planet,...

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Caneel Bay, St. John
May07

Caneel Bay, St. John

Unwind in the Tropics Caneel Bay has been a haven of relaxation for guests since its founding 53 years ago by Laurance Rockefeller. Set on 170 acres that was formerly a sugar plantation(guests can still explore the mill ruins) in Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John, the resort’s pristine natural surroundings and low-key luxury make it a destination people return to again and again.   On my exploratory...

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Accessories Worth Packing! All Under $100
Mar06

Accessories Worth Packing! All Under $100

These colorful accessories pack a stylish punch without breaking the bank.      1. Pedre grosgrain ribbon, plaid and stripe watch, $60     2.Caroline Hill cutout clutch in mint, $54   3. Spartina 449 Sea La Vie necklace, $36   4. Bromstad + Naturalizer “Ursela” flat in cream floral, $79...

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Glittery Girls’ Getaway in Palm Springs
Feb11

Glittery Girls’ Getaway in Palm Springs

Palm Springs sparkles. Literally. I flew in at night, seated in my usual window seat. As we neared the airport, the lights of Palm Springs winked in the darkness, causing the oasis below to shimmer like a sequined dress.     For a getaway guaranteed to leave you feeling like pampered Hollywood royalty, grab your girlfriends and book a rejuvenating spa weekend at the Riviera Palm Springs. Surrounded by hundreds of the...

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Navarre Beach
Feb06

Navarre Beach

A Haven from the Crowds By Abby Hoeffner Considering how beaten the path along Florida’s northwest gulf coast has become, finding a place with a secluded vibe is a major feat. But those seeking a relaxed, comfortable, unclouded seaside experience will find it at Navarre Beach, located between Pensacola and the Ft. Walton Beach/Destin area. Visitors enjoy miles and miles of pristine, undeveloped beaches and dunes because Navarre is...

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Splendor in the Tetons
Jan28

Splendor in the Tetons

Connect with Nature in Jackson Hole, Wyoming “I’m ready to move to the mountains,” I told my husband via our late afternoon phone call after I’d been in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for two beautiful days. This mid-March weekend had presented temps in the mid 40s and was so mild people were skiing in T-shirts. Jackson Hole is known for its world-class skiing—in other words its extreme vertical skiing. Though there are some green slopes, the...

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Discovering Charleston
Dec26

Discovering Charleston

  Charleston, South Carolina, easily the crown jewel in the state’s treasure trove of historic towns, is known as The Holy City. Steeples pepper the skyline in testament to the fact that, above all else, its founders prized religious freedom. Over 400 places of worship of varying denominations, including one of the oldest synagogues in the nation, confirm their principles of religious tolerance. But I prefer to think of...

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A Movie Lover’s Guide to New York
Dec26

A Movie Lover’s Guide to New York

Love movies and New York City? Why not combine the two? From web-slinging comic heroes to wax statues coming to life inside museums to soul-mates falling in love in Central Park, thousands of characters have waltzed, fought, kissed and strolled across the silver screen with New York City as their backdrop. Over the past 100 years, NYC has become the most filmed location in the United States. In 2011 alone, 188 films were shot there,...

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Hi There, Neighbor!
Dec19

Hi There, Neighbor!

Travel to the States Next Door Sometimes you want to head out on a vacation, but you just don’t feel like getting on an airplane.  Enter the perfect opportunity to explore traveling in a neighboring state. Louisiana’s Lafayette By Rita Cook  To the east of the Texas, Louisiana offers a smorgasbord of treats and activities, with no city in the state as all-encompassing as Lafayette. It’s the home of Cajun culture and the unofficial...

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Pack Your Bags for The 30A Songwriters Festival
Dec19

Pack Your Bags for The 30A Songwriters Festival

John Oats, Matthew Sweet, Jeffrey Steele, Mary Gauthier, Chuck Cannon and more are among the co-headliners for the fifth annual event along Florida’s Gulf Coast in South Walton By Abby Hoeffner The 30A Songwriters Festival will heat up Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A once again, January 17-19, where writers who perform their own music and performers who write their own songs meet for a weekend of moving melodies, powerful...

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Celebrate Christmas in St. Augustine, Florida
Dec12

Celebrate Christmas in St. Augustine, Florida

Do something different this year and head to our nation’s oldest city for an unforgettable holiday getaway. By Abby Hoeffner Though the night was mild and free of snow and ice—Florida rarely sees either—few places I’ve visited are so thoroughly ensconced in the Christmas spirit. Trolley loads of merry folk circled the historic square, each trying to out Christmas carol the other. Over two million twinkling white lights bedecked...

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