Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Tips For Winter Driving Journeys

02/09/2015 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Somewhere east of Providence, R.I., the winter finally caught up with me.

A snow-covered road along the author’s route in the South Coast area of Massachusetts.  Hilary Larson/JW

A Shore Thing

02/02/2015 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Some people come to Santa Cruz to surf; others come to stroll the boardwalk and ogle the sea lions. There are thrill rides for children, redwood forests for nature lovers and sunsets for everyone.

On the boardwalk in Santa Cruz. Amy Larson

Irish Pluralism On Display

01/26/2015 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Tucked into the Gothic arches and dank, mossy halls of Trinity College Dublin is the Weingreen Biblical Antiquities Museum. It’s a small collection of artifacts from around the eastern Mediterranean, spanning the ninth millennium B.C.E. to the late Middle Ages, and it was renamed in the 1970s to honor one Professor Weingreen, a Hebrew scholar who taught at Trinity for 40 years.

Dublin’s Temple Bar, in the city’s cobblestoned central nightlife district. Wikimedia Commons

Diaspora Encounters To Cherish

01/19/2015 - 19:00
Travel Writer

What does it mean for Jewish travel if everyone makes aliyah?

I ask this question rhetorically, of course. No matter how charged the rhetoric or how tense the security situation, some Jews will always feel a stronger pull to their native or adopted territory — to the brilliance of South African sunshine or, yes, the warm, crisp baguettes and tidy green parks of the Paris Marais. And the solidity of our American Jewish community is reassuring.

A corner in Paris’ heavily Jewish Marais neighborhood.

Lanzarote: Lava And Light

01/12/2015 - 19:00
Travel Writer

When the midwinter chill sets in, New York Jews head to Florida; British Jews head to Lanzarote, the most spectacular of Spain’s Canary Islands.

The rocky coast of Lanzarote.

Thoughts On The Sharing Economy

01/06/2015 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Lately a day rarely goes by without headlines about Airbnb, Uber and the so-called sharing economy — social-media, app-driven services that, for better or worse, are transforming modern travel.

A Catalan country home, known as a masia, is the kind of residence you can book through Airbnb. Wikimedia Commons

Where Sephardic History Abounds

Djerba is more than just a beach vacation; it also offers a window onto a historic Jewish culture.

12/29/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Every day will be a little bit lighter now, but this week is still among the darkest of the year, and the chilliest. So it’s the perfect moment to take a closer look at the sunny Mediterranean shores of Djerba, Tunisia, one of my recommendations for Jewish travel in 2015.

A stall in Djerba’s Houmt Souk.  WIkimedia commons

Where To Go In 2015

12/22/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Why do we pack up our suitcases, head to the airport and leave the familiar behind? Leisure and recreation are important, sure, but for most of us, travel is essential for the fresh perspective it offers — on our fellow humans, on Jewish communities throughout the world, and on cultures and lifestyles that may seem alien but that force us to reconsider our own points of view.

El Ghirba Synagogue, the oldest temple in North Africa, with its cerulean arches and intricate tile work. Wikimedia Commons

High Art

12/15/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

A few years ago, when a series of health crises sent me into a whirl of alternative-medicine panaceas — meditation, chi gong, hypnosis — a friend laughed and told me, “Sounds like soon you will be living in Sedona.”

The red rocks of the Senoran desert loom over Sedona.  Wikimedia Commons

Latkes (And Okra, Anyone?) In The Big Easy

12/08/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

New Orleans is famous for knowing how to party. And while Mardi Gras is the best-known annual festivity, the Big Easy — as this renascent Louisiana city is called — puts on quite a show for Chanukah, too.

What’s frying in New Orleans? It’s latkes, ubiquitous there during Chanukah, a few months before the city’s famed Mardi Gras.
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