Destinations

Catalina

Catalina

“Catalina reminds me of a Greek island with its golf carts, clear blue ocean water and laid-back European atmosphere,” a Norwegian visitor told me while we waited in line at Avalon’s only grocery store. I nodded in agreement because Catalina is a pretty unique place...
Guatemala

Guatemala

Sitting atop the largest pyramid in the world in northern Guatemala’s ancient Maya city, El Mirador, I tried to imagine how the city below looked nearly 2500 years ago. Standing nearby,  the site’s principal archaeologist, Dr. Richard Hansen...
Big Bear

Summer action in Big Bear Lake

Named after the grizzly bears that formerly roamed the area, Big Bear Lake sits at 6700 feet elevation in the San Bernardino Mountains, providing a cool refuge only a couple of hours drive from Los Angeles...
Vilcabamba

Vilcabamba

Our four-hour, 110-mile drive through the mountains of Ecuador was a memorable, and sometimes startling, experience as we dodged rocks in the road from small landslides and passed slow trucks on blind curves...
Cuenca

Cuenca

After spending a month walking around much of this town of 350,000 inhabitants, talking to local residents and media veterans, and touring most of the popular places...
Jocotoco

Jocotoco

You don’t have to be a hard-core bird watcher in order to be mesmerized by the dazzling display of hummingbirds, and various other tropical birds, that swarm to the feeders at the Jocotoco reserves we visited...
Slovenia

Slovenia

After hearing rave reviews about Slovenia, a small country that formerly comprised the northern portion of Yugoslavia, my wife and I decided to head there during our Europe trip last summer and see for ourselves...
Two Harbors

Two Harbors

My wife and I have become huge fans of Catalina Island after visiting there twice in recent years. Having stayed previously in Avalon, this time we decided to explore Two Harbors, a tiny community eighteen miles northwest of Avalon...
Mono Hot Springs

Mono Hot Springs

John Muir, the sage of the Sierras, once wisely said, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul"...
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

I always knew that someday my global explorations would lead me to the Galapagos Islands, since they are world famous for hosting a unique assortment of my favorite creatures that crawl, fly or swim...
Nashville

Nashville

There’s magic in a father and son relationship, but when your interests are quite different, it presents a challenge to find a mutually rewarding trip together...
British Columbia

British Columbia

Shortly after breakfast, ten of us donned our bright red lifejackets and cruised slowly across the misty inlet to begin our rainforest hike. Since bears outnumber people in this remote British Columbia wilderness, our guide...
Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island

I'll share this secret with you if you promise to keep it to yourself: My wife and I discovered a place that's easy to get to, has clean, safe, flower-filled cities surrounded by stunning forests, mountains and lakes, excellent wildlife viewing...
San Felipe

San Felipe

Our introduction to San Felipe began as we sat in the shade of a palapa, admiring the turquoise waters of the nearby Sea of Cortez, when suddenly our guide pointed to a mysterious speck high in the sky...
Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Black pearls and blue lagoons beckon visitors to the Cook Islands. As our overnight flight from LAX neared Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands, I felt a mixture of excitement and apprehension...
Costa Rica

Costa Rica

“Pura vida,” we all shouted in unison as we lifted our paddles victoriously into the air after smashing through another rapid on Costa Rica’s renowned Pacuare River. The shout meant “pure life” and that’s exactly what a weeklong visit to Costa Rica provided in abundance...
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara has always held a special attraction for me because of treasured family stories I heard all my life about the journey of my mother's grandparents and their eight children from the mountains of northern Spain to Santa Barbara in 1917...
Banff

Banff

Banff National Park is a World Heritage Site for good reason: it offers some of the finest scenery, wildlife viewing and outdoor activities in North America — some would say in the world. I experienced this fact firsthand one early morning as I drove the 10-kilometer Lake Minnewanka Loop...
Big Island

Big Island

Our nighttime manta ray tour took us far out into ocean until the boat anchored and we entered the cool water, grasping the handles of our long surfboard while waiting for what some called "the experience of a lifetime." In the gloomy depths below, giant manta rays, with ten to twenty foot wingspans...
Pasadena

Pasadena

In the early 1900's, few citizens could have been more enthusiastic about their community than the people of Pasadena. In the Oct. 1, 1914 edition of the Pasadena Daily News, readers were asked to share their views about their home town...
Sedona

Sedona

The full moon was rising over the distant hills but we still needed our ATV's headlights to pierce the darkness as we bounced along a labyrinth of trails in the Prescott National Forest outside of Sedona...
Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Let me start with a confession: For more than 40 years, I steadfastly ignored the tourist attractions in Los Angeles because the city just seemed too big and too congested. Instead I focused on more distant and exotic locations, even though L.A. was just two hours away...
Palm Springs

Palm Springs

Looking at the black and white photo of some of America's most famous, rich and powerful people, I'm trying to imagine us attending the Annenbergs' New Year's Eve celebration at their uber-exclusive estate near Palm Springs. This must have been one of the most prized party invitations in the United States...
Sonoma

Sonoma

Every wine aficionado knows that the Sonoma/Napa region is home to a multitude of world-class wineries. But on a recent trip, my wife and I discovered that Sonoma offers so much more, including exceptional scenery, history, food and wine...
Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

I flew into Pittsburgh's airport not knowing what to expect. The name "Pittsburgh" conjured up for me gnarly images of rusting steel mills and people in pickups waving yellow "Terrible Towels." But after touring this serendipitous city, I would recommend it to anyone as a very desirable place to visit...
Catalina

Catalina

This mid-September trip to Catalina doesn't even compare with the last one I did, 25 years ago. What's different this time? Everything. My wife and I have been travelling a great deal, and I'm familiar with75 countries, but I have to tell you that our four day stay in Catalina rivals any trip we have done. During my last visit to Catalina, I made the mistake, that many do, of just walking around Avalon, shopping and eating, spending the night and then leaving...
Alaska

Alaska

If a moose charges you, run as fast as you can and zigzag. If a bear charges you, never run, just stand still. These warnings serve as your official Alaska greetings and they make you realize that you're not in Kansas any more...
Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is different from many other prominent national parks because its attractions are more subtle and its size is so vast (794,000 acres). At first I wasn't too excited by the desert expanse that featured an endless brown terrain dotted with joshua trees and scattered rocks...
Death Valley

Death Valley

I am crazy about our U.S. national parks, and yet a trip to Death Valley seemed like a lot of effort for an uncertain reward.  After all, it is in the middle of nowhere, and aside from having the lowest spot in North America, I couldn’t think of many other major features it offered. In reality this park has at least a dozen special attractions that made our four day trip much more fun, and unforgettable, than I had imagined.  Here’s why...
Turkey

Turkey

I first visited Turkey in 1978 and decided that it was one of the places I'd like to visit again, which I did thirty four years later. I wasn't disappointed and you won't be either...
Baja Horseback

Baja Horseback Riding

My old friend Jim Berrian made me an offer I couldn't refuse: He invited me to spend the day at his friend's secluded Baja ranch, called Rancho La Bellota, and go horseback riding through the mountainous trails tucked away in the heart of Baja California, Mexico. I must confess, as I told Jim, that I am not experienced or comfortable with horses...
Kauai

Kauai

Compared to Maui, I prefer Kauai because it is smaller, less commercially developed and more scenic. It has some of the best hiking along the Na Pali coast, an impressive canyon (Waimea Canyon) spectacular, jungle-clad mountains with waterfalls. The nature aspect of Kauai is hard to beat...
Lake Powell

Lake Powell

I love the Southwest's arid, rocky, crisp beauty. When you combine this with a sky blue lake that stretches as far as you can see, bordered by canyons and cliffs of every imaginable shape and reddish hues, then you have a place called Lake Powell that is hard to beat. Rent a houseboat and explore nearly 2,000 miles of awe-inspiring shorelines. Stay active all day, if you want, doing watersports or just relax on the houseboat sipping on something nice...
Jordan

Jordan

I’ve noticed that when I mention how my love of travel has taken me to 75 countries, the inevitable question arises: “Which place was your favorite?” I struggle to find an appropriate answer because my years of memorable travel experiences don’t lend themselves to a simple, abbreviated reply, except when I reflect on my trip to Jordan, which stands out as an  extraordinary cultural experience that has never been rivalled since...