Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

The Quiet Of A Tuscan Winter

11/29/2016 - 15:48
Travel Writer

The view over Siena’s deep green hills hasn’t changed in the two decades I’ve been visiting — and in all likelihood since Tuscan Jewry thrived in this city some 600 years ago.

The courtyard and Gothic façade of the 14th-century Palazzo Salimbeni. Wikimedia Commons

Canada, Anyone?

11/22/2016 - 13:51
Travel Writer

Gazing over the sea with a drink in hand, what overseas vacationer hasn’t fantasized about chucking it all and settling permanently in paradise?

Ottowa in winter: Commuting by ice skates. Wikimedia Commons

Park Slope On The Schuylkill

11/15/2016 - 15:57
Travel Writer

On Election Day, I waited in line to vote in West Philadelphia, where my husband took a teaching position this year. I’d scrambled to file my new registration in between trips, excited to vote in a swing state. But the local mood was anything but purple.

A tree-lined street in West Philly with its vintage Victorians. Hilary Danailova/JW

Winter Wonderlands

11/08/2016 - 15:56
Travel Writer

By the time you read this, we should have a president-elect … and depending on the outcome, some people will threaten a move to Canada.

A beach in Puerto Rico. Wikimedia Commons

Northeast Exposure For Jewish, Black Culture

10/26/2016 - 13:26
Travel Writer

Down by the Anacostia River, children frolicked amid fountains on a plaza sparkling with sunshine and urban life. Families picnicked and strolled on the riverside lawns, watching the occasional kayaker row past, while couples on dates filled waterfront cafés at happy hour.

The elegant Howard Theatre is a cultural nexus in the Shaw neighborhood. Wikimedia Commons

Urban America In A Different Light

10/19/2016 - 12:55
Travel Writer

You can still buy a $2 taco in San Francisco’s Mission District. But every year there are fewer of the ancient, fluorescent-lit taquerías that once defined dining in a Latino immigrant neighborhood, and exponentially more places for young, wealthy, tech-industry workers to buy a $15 fair trade organic chocolate bar, a $20 brunch entrée, or a $2 million condo.

The new face of San Francisco’s Mission District. Wikimedia Commons

A Blast On The Big Island

10/11/2016 - 12:02
Travel Writer

When you head out to see a volcano, you don’t expect it to blow up right in front of you. But there it was — Mt. Kilauea, the most active of Hawaii’s many volcanoes, spewing brilliant orange flames and puffs of ashes from its death-black cone.

A Mt. Kilauea eruption.

Jewish History Amid The Olive Groves

10/06/2016 - 14:05
Travel Writer

Olive oil is astoundingly cheap in Spain. When I visited the family olive farm of a friend in Provence a few years ago, the father was horrified and disbelieving when I told him how much I’d paid for a liter of the extra-virgin stuff back in Barcelona: about $3. “That’s impossible,” he sputtered, as he stuck $15 price tags on his hand-picked specialty oils.

A view of the Jaen Cathedral with olive groves in the distance. Wikimedia Commons

Kosher Salt Water Taffy And More

09/28/2016 - 11:17
Travel Writer

Note: This is the second of a two-part series on driving destination in New Jersey.

On a sunny afternoon just past Labor Day, the glittering towers of Atlantic City’s resorts cast long, strange shadows over the vacant lots below.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk near the Tropicana Casino. Wikimedia Commons
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