Travel News and Features from Around the World

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Sailing to Catalina Island

It's a little stretch of paradise off the coast of busy Los Angeles. My wife and I first came here over 40 years ago before we were married, and now after all these years, we boarded a big Catalina Express vessel for the hour-long cruise across the water to see the island once again. The island captured our hearts from the moment our vessel entered Avalon Bay and we saw the iconic Casino Building. Read more...



Jasper Dark Sky Festival

Settling in at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, next to lovely Beauvert Lake, meant enjoying the Dark Sky Festival, an opportunity to appreciate all that the heavens have to offer, whether you're a seasoned observer with a telescope or an amateur simply interested in learning more...Read more


Hyatt Regency at Lake Tahoe

When I walked into the woodsy lobby of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino at Incline Village, it brought to mind the wonderful tradition of grand North American mountain lodges...Located on a lovely stretch of private beach on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the Hyatt...is a good example of these romantic mountain retreats...Read more...


Pacifica: 'Reconnect and Refresh'

I stood on the broad terrace of McCloskey Castle here in Pacifica and took in the bird's-eye view of this charming town nestled on the Pacific shoreline. And yes, the idea of a castle about 20 minutes south of downtown San Francisco may seem a bit odd, but it's no more unusual than finding a town like this so close to urban America and yet so far away from all the noise and grittiness of a big city. Read more...


'Intrigue' at Little River Inn

It stands to reason that "Where There's Smoke," there's bound to be a good story. And in the case of Mel McKinney of Mendocino's legendary Little River Inn, there's a story of international intrigue, JFK, and some of the finest cigars this side of Havana. "Where There's Smoke" is McKinney's novel about the Cuban missile crisis and the ensuing embargo on Castro's Cuba -- a fictionalized treatment of a little-known story involving President John F. Kennedy. Read more...


Warming to Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, the laid-back beachside community about two hours north of busy Los Angeles, has a sometimes-overlooked cosmopolitan side, which adds another pleasant layer to the ubiquitous sun and sand. Read More...


Hagafen Cellars in Napa Valley

The Silverado Trail, a two-lane roadway bordered by wineries, is a place where bikers can sometimes be seen pedaling past the vineyards.The trail runs parallel to the Napa River for about 35 miles between Napa and the small town of Calistoga, known for its hot springs and Saturday farmers market....On this particular day, I came to the Silverado Trail to meet Ernie Weir and his Israeli wife, Irit, at Hagafen Cellars, their kosher winery whose vintages have graced the White House table. Read more...


Kosher Is 'Hip' at Citron and Rose

My grandmother of blessed memory wouldn’t know a thing about Bob Dylan. But they're playing a recording of one of his songs as we sit down to dinner at Citron and Rose, a hip, new glatt kosher restaurant in this upscale suburb of Philadelphia. Come to think of it, my grandmother would be quite surprised if she knew what they're doing with the schmaltz, mixing it with fried garlic and onions and serving it as a substitute for butter with our warm dinner rolls. Read more...


Zahav Serves a Taste of Israel

I have a standing invitation from Chef Michael Solomonov to bake Iraqi-style laffa bread with him at Zahav, where Solomonov and his business partner, Steven Cook, offer classic Israeli tastes in a modern setting near the historic cobblestones of Dock Street, here in Philadelphia. Solomonov’s invitation came when I was planning to visit Zahav, whose Hebrew name means“gold.” Read more...


Philadelphia's Morris House

The charming Morris House Hotel in the "City of Brotherly Love" comes with a very clear connection to America's first president. I learned this from Michael diPaolo, who restored and owns the historic charmer on South 8th Street with Gene B. Lefevre. The two are well-known, energetic figures on the Philadelphia architecture and real estate scene. “George Washington was so impressed with the architecture of the (Morris House) building," diPaolo told me, "that he…had his architect make what is almost a replica of the façade of our building for his home on Market Street.” Of course, Washington's home has since disappeared, but the 15-room, three-story Morris House Hotel, more a kind of boutique hotel, is still here for visitors to enjoy, and this is what my wife and I recently were lucky enough to do. Read more...


Eastern Townships Charm

After the newly-minted United States separated from England, many Americans, including some of the Loyalist type, left the country for Quebec's lovely Eastern Townships. Now, many generations later, Americans of the "vacationing sort" are still hopping across the border to enjoy the area's natural beauty, including pristine lakes, east of urban Montreal. Read more...


Palau: Paradise in the Pacific

On a visit this idyllic Pacific archipelago, there's every chance you'll see a rainbow spreading its colors across the sky. Rainbows are very common here -- so common, in fact, that "Rainbow's End" is Palau's official motto. It's all very fitting for a storybook setting, but none of it is fantasy. It's all very real, and I still remember the excitement I felt when I caught those two rainbows after one of Palau's quite typical, warm rains under a bright island sun. Read more...


Edmonton: A Lively Festival City!

At a Friday night Shabbat dinner, one of the guests at the table lovingly refers to "our shtetl Edmonton." It's a sign of the strong sense of community that Jews feel in this northern Alberta city on the western Canadian prairie...Edmonton enjoys a prized location in the picturesque North Saskatchewan River Valley, an urban parkland 22 times larger than New York City's Central Park...The river valley, which was visible from our room at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, was also the site of Edmonton's annual Folk Music Festival...Read more...


Walking Through Jewish Paris

When Pamela Grant said to meet her on Ile de la Cite for a walking tour of Jewish Paris, I wondered why there of all places. I could imagine a synagogue in Le Marais, the traditional Jewish quarter in the 4th arrondissement (or district) of the city. But Ile de la Cite, the island on the Seine? I knew of no Jewish connections here. But I did know it as the site of the massive Gothic church so beloved and immortalized by Victor Hugo in "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame." Read more...


Love Those Montreal Bagels!

There are many reasons to visit Montreal, a sophisticated island city with an infectious Quebec joie de vivre. But if you're a foodie, it's the bagels, hands down. Two of the city's bagel bakeries, St-Viateur Bagel at 263 St-Viateur West and Fairmount Bagel at 74 Fairmount West, are no-frills establishments in Montreal's Mile End district, one of the city's trendy neighborhoods with a sprinkling of Hassidim thrown in to add to the eclectic mix. Read more...


A Choir Sings at the Salisbury Hotel

Some guests at the Salisbury Hotel in Midtown Manhattan may be lucky enough to to hear a 35-member church choir going through its rehearsals. Walking along West 57th Street to the hotel’s front entrance, I couldn’t help but notice the big red-and-white flag of Calvary Baptist Church fluttering nearby in the breeze. But even with the flag, the casual observer has no way of knowing that the Salisbury and the church share the same building and that the hotel is owned by the church. Read more...


Whole Spice Tasty Treats

Since we're too early for check-in at Milliken Creek Inn and Spa, we decide to stop at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa's Oxbow District, very near the Napa River Trail. This is where we meet Shuli and Ronit Madmone, an Israeli couple who own Whole Spice... Read more...


The 'Awe' Effect at Milliken Creek

Milliken Creek Inn and Spa, a 12-room gem hidden away on three acres of California's Napa River shoreline, is all about romance, says general manager Connie Gore. And when it comes to romance, Milliken specializes in what she likes to call the "awe" effect, like discovering dozens of red rose petals spread across your bed…or tiny glass candles around your room…or candied strawberries and a bottle of bubbly. Read more...


Montreal Egg Rolls in L.A.

It's lunchtime on the street here in Santa Monica, California, and the big red food truck is serving a Montreal "delicacy." The Hebrew word "Hai" (Life), displayed on the side of the truck, is Chef Michael Israel's reminder that "Judaism is at the center" of classic Jewish deli cuisine. Read more...


 

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