World class scenic winter train travel

By: Ed Perkins

If you want to enjoy spectacular snowscapes without the hassle of winter driving, take a train.Except in unusual circumstances, railroads keep their tracks open through snowfall heavy enough to shut down the highways. And many of them travel on routes with better sightseeing than you can find anywhere else.If you want really great snow scenery, you can’t beat Switzerland. Although my... READ MORE

Bike downhill on Virginia’s Creeper Trail

By: Karen Testa

It was an invitation even teenagers who had hoped to be watching college football or playing video games couldn’t resist: a mountain bike ride — all downhill. Visitors to the Virginia Creeper Trail will find a remarkably family-friendly ride, adaptable to any skill level, and with scenery to hold anyone’s attention. With its broad paths and wide curves, the Creeper encourages... READ MORE

Repositioning cruises offer real bargains

By: Ann Cochran

Antonio Gaudi’s unique and ornate cathedral La Sagrada Familia soars over Barcelona, one of the ports of call on the Koningsdam’s repositioning cruise. Construction began in 1892 and is still underway.Photo by MapicsEach fall and spring, a quiet migration takes place as cruise lines move their ships from one geographical area to another. But these ships do not sail empty. They... READ MORE

Lots of new airlines, not much innovation

By: Ed Perkins

Between now and next summer, you’ll see a lot of unfamiliar airplanes at U.S. airports. At least for now, they’ll all be European or Asian, but a few possible home-grown efforts have sprouted.The upside is a combination of more competition on existing routes and more new nonstop routes. The downside is no real innovation in the seating — the main cabins will be familiar... READ MORE

Bucolic Walden Pond and Concord, Mass.

By: William J. Kole

Henry David Thoreau went to the woods because, as he famously put it, “I wished to live deliberately.”Two centuries after the Walden author’s birth, people are still deliberately following in Thoreau’s footsteps to discover Walden Pond, the little lake he immortalized.Whether you’re visiting Boston or the Berkshires, the pond and the bucolic Massachusetts town ... READ MORE

Where and how to enjoy fall foliage’s peak

By: Ed Perkins

It’s time to plan and reserve fall foliage trip accommodations and tours. And not just to New England — you can find good fall foliage viewing throughout much of the U.S. and Canada. Peak viewing dates move gradually from North to South between mid-September and mid-November. And you can view foliage displays in your car, on a bus tour, or on a train.Where to go. Start by... READ MORE