The Del marks 125 years of holiday magic

By: Jamie Lee Pricer

Thinking of a trip back in time for a holiday celebration, but with world-class, modern amenities? Located on a spit of land joined by a high-arch distinctive bridge to San Diego, the Hotel Del Coronado more than fills the bill.The Del has been celebrating the holidays in grand tradition since it opened in 1888. In 1904, it introduced the first electrically lighted outdoor Christmas treeOne ... READ MORE

Escape to nearby Blue Ridge mountains

By: Glenda C. Booth

Trees turn crimson and gold in Shenandoah National Park’s autumnal show of color. The 300-square-mile park is one of the few large national parks on the East Coast and only a 90-minute drive from the Washington area.© Cecouchman | Dreamstime.comWe crouched down on our knees to study a thumbnail-sized, shiny green pendant dangling precariously by a silky thread from a... READ MORE

Portland’s small-town yet urban waterfront

By: Glenda C. Booth

Boats dock in Casco Bay along Portland’s waterfront. Portland, the largest city in Maine, dates back to 1632, when it became a British fishing and trading settlement named Casco.The Greater Portland + Convention CenterFrom my sixth floor hotel room in the middle of Portland, Maine, I stared at the waters of Casco Bay gently lapping the harbor and was 99 percent convinced I had a... READ MORE

Airlines will schlep your bags for a price

By: Ed Perkins

United Airlines is emulating rival American in featuring a baggage-delivery service at your arrival airport.Although you have to get your bags to the departure airport and check them by yourself, when you arrive at your destination airport, you hand your bags over to a delivery representative and go past the baggage claim to your hotel, office or other local destination, where a local... READ MORE

Celebrate the 30th Balloon & Wine Festival

By: Connie George

Tasty wines and foods, hot air balloon flights at dawn, evening picnicking beneath the towering illuminated orbs, top entertainment in concert, and an FMX freestyle motocross show will fill the 30th Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, Friday through Sunday, May 31 to June 2.More than 20 Temecula Valley wineries, over 40 hot air balloons, hundreds of booths featuring arts and... READ MORE

The Western wonders of Scottsdale, Ariz.

By: Victor Block

Outside Scottsdale, Ariz., hikers in the Sonoran Desert pass numerous types of cactus, including the towering saguaro, which is unique to that locale. Surprisingly, the desert is also home to 60 types of mammals, over 100 sorts of reptiles and 350 kinds of birds that have adapted to its hot, dry environment.Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors BureauBejeweled women... READ MORE