Travel

05/03/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Did you know there are palm trees on the English coast? Neither did I. Like most of us, my mental image of the U.K. was shaped by earlier experiences in gray, rainy London and gloomy Scotland, and by the perpetual sodden chill in countless British novels. Can you imagine “Wuthering Heights” under a sunny blue sky?

04/27/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

One of the most distinctive things about California’s Pacific Coast Highway is how little it has changed over the years. Those heart-stopping curves along dusty cliffs, the vast Pacific Ocean crashing on rocky shores below, the towering evergreens that block out the sun around Big Sur? It is scenery as massive in scale as it is timeless.

04/18/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

When I was growing up, my parents never actually traveled anywhere, other than the predictable summer shore excursion — and of course, South Florida in the winter.

But that didn’t stop them from engaging in lively fantasy.

“Bud, wouldn’t it be romantic to go to Venice together?” my mom would rhapsodize, eyes shining at the prospect of gondolas and gelato. “Or Firenze! I remember shopping for gold jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio was I was 20…”

04/12/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

That Los Angeles is a car town — perhaps the consummate U.S. car town — is taken as a given by travelers, whose queue at the LAX car rental counter is a time-honored ritual.

But with gas around $4 a gallon and soul-crushing traffic jams, fed-up locals and savvy visitors are increasingly bucking convention, and taking the bus.

04/05/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Deep in Scotland’s wild and craggy north, Aberdeen is a springtime destination that’s evergreen.

This is a region that is timeless in its wide verdant expanses, its year-round drizzly chill, the awesome history in its forbidding stone castles and their awesome history, and its cheery corner pubs.

It’s a corner of Europe — literally — that manages to be both stoic and warmly welcoming. Even in a place where the all-time record high temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s plenty of fun to be had amid the misty Scottish gloom.

03/29/2011 | | Travel Writer | Travel

There’s no spring quite like a Southern spring — and no better city to bask in magnolia blooms and warm afternoons than Charleston, S.C.

This spring promises to be particularly lively in Charleston, where a host of upcoming events are planned for the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War. It was right here at Fort Sumter that America’s defining conflict broke out, 150 years ago this April.