April 4, 2014 |
SAN DIEGO - SeaWorld? Check. Balboa Park? Check. The zoo? Check. Most folks heading here for a vacation visit the usual tourist spots. Those are great, but there's more to the self-styled America's Finest City than a famous theme park, museums, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Why not add the city's outdoor art to the checklist? San Diego has a treasure-trove of dynamic, free outdoor art installations that the casual visitor might easily overlook. These pieces, by big-name artists as well as lesser-known talents, are easily reachable and, in some cases, just steps from tourist spots.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 |
Spencer Davis was chatting up tourists on the Venice boardwalk when police officers pulled up in front of his display of plastic alien heads. Had Davis seen a man threatening people with a chain saw, they asked? "Not today," he quipped with a smile, assuming that the officers were joking. Then he turned around and saw police officers, their guns drawn, with a man holding a chain saw. "Just when you think you've seen it all…" Davis said. For all the gentrification, designer homes and tourist attractions, Venice is still that kind of place - where artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists come together along a circus-like boardwalk.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2014 |
Trying to restore its luster as a tourist destination, this cozy harbor town is undergoing its most ambitious overhaul since chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. built the town's signature feature in 1929: Avalon Casino. More than half a dozen projects are underway or planned in the 2-square-mile community, including a museum, hotel, spa, aquatic facility, chapel and wine-tasting room. Renovations are planned for the island's golf course, and the oceanfront beach club is expanding.
March 14, 2014 |
A recent trip to Europe was an exercise in saving money. Here is some of what I discovered. Ground transportation: Taxis may seem like the most convenient and civilized way to get around, and sometimes they are, but sometimes they're expensive and annoying. They're also subject to all the traffic everyone else is sitting in. Subway systems are efficient and traffic-proof (unless there's a problem on a line). They can get you to most tourist destinations faster, and they are actually easy to use - easier than figuring out the rules for hailing a cab in the same city.
March 9, 2014 |
CORNUCOPIA, Wis. - On some days, Kevin Hunt stands at his Star North gas station in this eye-blink of a town on mighty Lake Superior, marveling at Mother Nature and his own dumb luck. Everywhere he looks: ice and people. Months ago, many warned him not to invest in a place where fair-weather tourists flee in the fall and the big lake's waters turn cold and storm-tossed, forcing the 100 or so hardy full-time residents of Cornucopia to hibernate for the winter. He'd be out of business by March, they said.
March 7, 2014 |
GRANADA, Nicaragua - I came to Nicaragua to climb a volcano, to listen to howler monkeys scream in the trees of a rain forest and to walk along a deserted beach, watching the sun flame out at the end of day, turning the sea and sky ablaze. I did all those things and more in this star-crossed Central American nation, a place where culture, history and nature combine to offer visitors some of the hemisphere's most diverse experiences. Nicaragua, which calls itself "the next Costa Rica," has much to commend it: large tracts of nature reserves; sleepy surf towns; dozens of volcanic peaks; rain forests rich with biodiversity; seemingly endless, undeveloped beaches; and charming colonial cities alive with culture.