All-inclusive vacations with a difference

By Sally French
Posted on March 26, 2024

All-inclusive vacations can conjure images of food under heat lamps, too many poolside piña coladas, and being trapped on resort grounds. But sun-soaked packages are not the only type of all-inclusives. Sure, sprawling mega-resorts exist — and their numbers are growing. All-Inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy has spent the last couple of years building a portfolio of nearly three dozen... READ MORE

Late March may be Vermont’s sweet spot

By Martha Steger
Posted on March 14, 2024

April showers bring May flowers. But in Vermont, winter storms make the sap flow. Sugaring season — tapping sugar-maple trees’ sap and boiling it down to syrup — swings into full speed in Vermont in late March. Last year, on a visit to a Vermont sugarhouse, I watched the clouds of steam rise and sniffed the sweet air before swinging open the doors. Inside, I was engulfed by... READ MORE

Charlottesville’s 19th-century sites to see

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on March 05, 2024

Thomas Jefferson dreamed of producing great American wine at his Virginia plantation, Monticello, just outside Charlottesville. He never succeeded. But today, winemaking is flourishing in central Virginia, with many vineyards in the Charlottesville area. Exploring the area’s wineries is only one of many reasons to plan a visit. You can tour U.S. presidents’ haunts and a Civil War... READ MORE

Truffle hunting in Virginia unearths new flavor

By Victor Block
Posted on February 22, 2024

Nadine was excited. She scampered along a haphazard route, pausing now and then to sniff the ground. Occasionally she dug in the dirt, her breath quickening and eyes widening. But she was not permitted to complete the excavation she had begun. That task was finished by Vanessa, who distracted Nadine with a tasty treat and used a trowel to discover and uncover the object of their search:... READ MORE

Scope out public transit before your city trip

By Ed Perkins
Posted on February 12, 2024

If your summer trip plans include a few days in a big city, chances are you’ll be using public transit to navigate the area. And if you do, it’s a good idea to arrange in advance for whatever special discounts and visitor tickets you might use, so you’re ready to get going right away and don’t waste time figuring out your transit needs. If you haven’t traveled in a while, you... READ MORE

Bask in Barbados’ beaches, gardens, warmth

By Victor Block
Posted on January 30, 2024

When my wife Fyllis and I landed in Barbados this winter, we asked a man outside the airport for directions to our hotel. To our surprise, he didn’t give them to us. Instead, he insisted on leading us there in his vehicle. Throughout our trip to the Caribbean island — our second in 20 years — we were impressed by the friendly, warm people we met. After I unknowingly dropped some... READ MORE

Is ‘premium economy’ seating worth it?

By Ed Perkins
Posted on January 17, 2024

A recent report from IdeaWorks Company describes the airlines’ premium economy offering as “an upper- middle-class seat priced for the upper-middle class” designed for, and marketed to, “upper middle-class consumers who seek an upper middle-class travel experience.” The report’s author, Jay Sorensen, is bullish on premium economy. Should you be? The... READ MORE

Historic D.C. restaurants brim with tales

By Victor Block
Posted on January 10, 2024

In a tiny half-booth in Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown, nicknamed the “rumble seat,” John F. Kennedy perused the Sunday morning newspaper after attending mass. Nearby is Booth Three, where he and Jackie Bouvier were seated when he proposed marriage to her in 1953. Harry and Bess Truman and their daughter, Margaret, often dined in another cubicle, which Margaret later incorporated... READ MORE

Chill out in London, strollin’ and cruisin’

By Don Mankin
Posted on January 03, 2024

I lie on my back on the cool grass, the sound of quacking ducks and raucous frisbee players wafting my way on the soft breeze drifting across the meadow. Sheer bliss! A welcome respite from the crowds cramming Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Worn out from several days of tourist attractions and museums, I was taking advantage of the unseasonably warm... READ MORE

Escape to Portugal’s coastal hideaway

By Rick Steves
Posted on December 21, 2023

Since Phoenician times, octopi have been the main catch for the villagers of Salema, located on a still-sleepy patch of the Algarve, Portugal’s popular south coast. And the fishing process has changed little in several thousand years. At the crack of dawn, I wait at the beach for my local friend, Sebastian, who’s agreed to take me out to check the pots. As Sebastian pushes his boat... READ MORE