Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Travels With Zelda (And Other Babies, Too)

Travel Writer

Regular readers of this column have probably observed that in addition to my husband, Oggi, another family member has begun to make an appearance: our baby daughter, Zelda.

The author’s daughter contemplating the JetBlue destination map. Hilary Larson/JW

Making A Pitch For Hamptons-Style Zionism

East End rabbi’s Herzliya condo project aimed at those who want to ‘own a piece of Israel.’


If they buy it, they will come.

That’s the philosophy behind a new luxury apartment project in Israel called The Hamptons in Herzliya Pituach that’s attempting to link two very swanky locales in the service of strengthening diaspora Jews’ connections to Israel — and selling high-end apartments.

A seaside marina in Herzliya Pituach as seen in video ad for The Hamptons condo project. Courtesy of The Hampton Synagogue

On (And Off) The Jewish Heritage Route

Travel Writer

‘You can’t tell Americans how to pronounce Kosice,” my husband, Oggi warned me.

We were planning an excursion to Slovakia’s second-largest city, a former European Capital of Culture with a stunning historic center and a well-preserved trove of Jewish heritage sites. But Kosice has the misfortune to be graced with a name whose middle syllable, for English speakers, is the kind of vulgarity that elicits titters from my inner 8-year-old.

Kosice’s Pushkinova Street synagogue is a center of Jewish life in the Slovakian city’s Jewish community. Wikimedia Commons

Sosúa, Then And Now

Travel Writer

If Sosúa, an idyllic beach town on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, looks like paradise to us, one can only imagine how pleasant a sight it was for European Jewish refugees in the early 1940s.

A typical street scene in Sosúa. Wikimedia Commons

A Walk In The Park

Travel Writer

Between the museums, palaces, theaters and pubs, it’s easy to spend a week in London entirely indoors. Given the famously drab weather, it is often preferable to do so.

Hyde Park is London’s answer to Central Park and the largest of its royal lawns.  Amy Larson

An Air Of Fear

Travel Writer

I was sitting in LAX about a month ago when a fellow traveler asked me, “Are you scared to be flying, with Ebola?”

For the cautious traveler, a bit of sensible precautions can allay travels fears. Above, the Halifax Airport.  Wikimedia Commons

The Core Of California

Travel Writer

High up in the San Bernardino Mountains, I found all the apples I needed to ring in the Jewish New Year.

An apple store and a farm store make for good shopping in harvest season in rural California.  Hilary Larson/JW

Seattle After Dark

Travel Writer

Given all the coffee its residents drink, it shouldn’t be surprising that Seattle stays up late.

I was tipped off to this by my sister, an inveterate night owl and Seattlephile who starts her day when most people are winding theirs down. She and my brother-in-law take their morning coffee around 5 p.m., then look for things to do while everybody else is at dinner. And that’s how I discovered that Seattle’s most hallowed attractions are all the more attractive after dark.

A Dale Chihuly sculpture set against the Space Needle at night. Amy Larson

Reveling In ‘Island Time’

Travel Writer

Note: This is the second of two articles on Jamaica.

Hermosa Cove is aptly named, I thought as I took a seat on the shady veranda of the eponymous resort. Before me, a pale-aqua sea lapped gently at a tiny, pristine beach. Earlier that morning I had taken a dip in these waters off Ocho Rios, where a rocky coastline and thick, jungle-like forests conceal some of Jamaica’s most intimate resorts.

Hermosa Cove, near Ocho Rios. Hilary Larson/JW

Jewish Life In Kingston Town

Travel Writer

Note: This is the first of two articles on Jamaica.

For those who complain that Caribbean resorts are too plastic, too generic or lacking in local culture, Kingston is the antidote.

Devon House, a mansion that belonged to a succession of well-heeled members Jamaica's Jewish community. Elie Klein
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