Travel

Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Every Day, A Jewish Celebration

06/18/2013
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There is so much raucous nightlife on Ibiza that it can be a challenge to appreciate how very tranquila this island can be. Best known for its international D.J. scene and jet-set parties, Ibiza — the liveliest of Spain’s Balearic islands — is also a paradise of limpid turquoise coves, sun-baked villages and stunning Mediterranean vistas.

Ibiza, a scenic Spanish island. ©Xescu Prats, courtesy Consell Insular d’Eivissa

Pacific Heights

06/11/2013
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It was still April, but the temperature unexpectedly soared into the high 90s in Southern California. The sidewalks sizzled; the canyons seemed to shimmer. A hot blanket of haze settled over the valleys.

The craggy shoreline of Laguna Beach offers a combination of beautiful scenery, warm air and surprisingly chilly water.

Old World History, New World Recreation

06/04/2013
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On my first visit, St. Augustine, Fla., was not what I expected.

Intrigued by the romance of a place founded by Spaniards more than four centuries ago, I imagined it might share some of the flavor of colonial settlements in Latin America: cobblestone streets, pastel haciendas and shady courtyards.

The Old Town I actually saw, though, felt more like the Wild West than San Miguel de Allende.

The Spanish-style Cathedral Basilica, left. Right, strolling along in St. Augustine’s Old Town. Hilary Larson

Rules Of The Road

05/28/2013
Travel Writer

I loved my 2009 honeymoon, two weeks of frolicking among the villages of Italy’s Ligurian coast.

The long and winding road: Off the beaten path in Bulgaria. Photos by Hilary Larson

Biscayne Boulevard Rising

05/21/2013
Travel Writer

For most visitors — and I am no different — Miami is essentially South Beach. Even though its wide, sandy beachfront and Art Deco landmarks aren’t in Miami proper, South Beach feels more like our idea of Miami than the empty sidewalks and soulless glass towers of downtown.

Shoppers in the Miami Design District northeast of downtown. Hilary Larson

Tips For That First Roots Journey

A few pieces of advice for teens embarking on a summer maiden voyage to the Jewish state (Birthright, not included).

Travel Writer
05/14/2013

When my cousin went to Israel on a teen tour  20 years ago, she came home raving about the experiences she’d had: the taste of fresh pita, the surprising contrasts in landscape, the day spent hanging with soldiers in Israeli Defense Forces.

Camel riding during Young Judaea’s Year Program. Photo courtesy Young Judaea/NFTY

The Keys To Florida

05/14/2013
Travel Writer

Like many foreigners, my husband, Oggi, was intrigued by the Florida Keys, a singular geography that has no European equivalent. Every year during the Florida family trip, I’ve promised him that we’ll drive all the way down to Key West. This year I finally delivered.

It looks much the same as the last time I visited — in the mid-’80s, with my dad at the wheel. My dad likes to talk about the old U.S. Route 1: how it was the Maine-to-Florida highway when he was growing up, before they built the Interstate. According to him, U.S. 1 hasn’t changed much.

Bicycling on Duval Street, Key West’s main commercial drag. Hilary Larson

Jewish Culture North Of The Border

05/07/2013
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Toronto is one of those cities that people who live there rave about. They’ll tell you about the cultural diversity, the fabulous ethnic food, the great public transit.

The Toronto skyline at night. A flurry of Jewish festivals defines spring in Canada’s cultural capital.

An Art Nouveau Spring

04/30/2013
Travel Writer

Prague spring blossoms with the curlicued flowers and vines of Art Nouveau.

The Art Nouveau façade of the Jerusalem Synagogue in Prague. Photo courtesy Praguewelcome.com

Jewish History On The Gulf

04/23/2013
Travel Writer

Spring blows into Galveston Island on a warm Gulf breeze. By April, these peaceful golden shores are basking in 70-degree afternoons, with native seabirds circling overhead and lazy ripples spreading from the fishermen’s lines. Weekend traffic is starting to get heavy: Houston is just a 40-minute drive away.

A row of candy-colored homes dot Galveston’s historic East End. Photo courtesy Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
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