Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Jewish Past and Present in Moldova's Green Capital

A fragile Jewish presence is part of Chisinau's post-Soviet rebirth

08/23/2016 - 13:26
Travel Writer

Whenever we find ourselves someplace my husband regards as particularly ugly or unappealing, Oggi declares, “I’d rather live in Kishinev.”

Verdant central Chișinău is split at the core by Stefan The Great Boulevard and Stefan the Great Central Park and the Public

Roots Music And Jewish Roots

08/16/2016 - 12:08
Travel Writer

I didn’t know who Hank Williams was when I first listened to Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song,” with the perplexing lyrics: “I said to Hank Williams, How lonely does it get? … Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet.”

cert series at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston. CONCERT CREDIT: Via Facebook

Late-Summer Escapes...From the Crowds

From Maine to California, five beach getaways where you won't have to fight for parking.

08/09/2016 - 15:21
Travel Writer

Depending on the crowd you run with, it can feel as though everyone you know this summer is on the East End of Long Island, hanging with the president and the first family on the Vineyard, or down the Jersey Shore.

A lighthouse in Door County, Wis. Wikimedia Commons

Alaska's Far-North Jewish Culture

Aside from stunning landscapes, Alaska offers the curious traveler the serendipitous thrill of discovering cultures.

08/02/2016 - 13:29
Travel Writer
The road to awe: Denali National Park. Wikimedia Commons

Travel: Île de Porquerolles, A French Corner of Paradise

Tranquility abounds on this tiny, car-free Mediterranean island.

07/26/2016 - 13:31
Travel Writer

In the 2008 French film “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis,” a goofy comedy that pokes fun at regional stereotypes, a hapless postal worker is rewarded for years of suffering in the country’s bleak north with a supposedly plum post — on the Mediterranean island of Porquerolles.

The Plage-de-la-Courtade beach on Porquerolles. Wikimedia

Jewish Landmarks, Near And Not So Far

07/19/2016 - 12:59
Travel Writer

In the heart of Virginia horse country, not far from where the Confederates surrendered at Appomattox, there is a graceful white house on an estate called Hyde Park.

Beth Sholom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pa. Wikimedia Commons

National Parks: Congress’ Best Moment, At 100

07/12/2016 - 11:39
Travel Writer

I was 12 when the family cross-country road trip took us to the Grand Canyon. I remember lunching at El Tovar, one of the historic lodges in the National Park system, and peering over the russet-red expanse of the canyon, those endless craters and ridges, heat shimmering in waves.

Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. LASSEN CREDIT: NPS Photo

Sunny Valencia Comes Out of Barcelona's Shadow

Valencia's modern makeover appeals to a new Jewish community - and visitors as well

07/05/2016 - 16:38
Travel Writer

Amid the cool stone alleys and sunny, palm-fringed plazas of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, it was easy to imagine Jewish scribes and accountants bustling about in Roman times. I found plenty of Jewish history when I Googled in advance of a trip: descriptions of Valencia’s barrios, synagogues, plazas and mikvahs. All of it stopped in the late 1400s.

The City of Arts and Sciences, a space-age cultural complex that soars above the waterfront. Wikimedia Commons

Brexit: A Shock, But a Traveler's Boon

As Britons Agonize Over Separation, U.K. Visitors Find Bargains

06/28/2016 - 12:31
Travel Writer

The tension between integration and separateness is one that Jews know particularly well.

To be Jewish in the diaspora is, by default, to have a hybrid identity. Where one identity ends and another begins, and the spaces where they overlap — these are waters most of us navigate throughout life, even more so when we travel and those identities are thrown into sharp relief against the backdrop of foreignness.

A tourist stand in Trafalgar Square, in central London. Wikimedia Commons

In The Cool Berkshires, Jewish Culture Heats Up

Summer brings a myriad of Jewish activities and culture to the hills of Western Mass.

06/21/2016 - 12:23
Travel Writer

Summer in the Berkshires starts this week for hundreds of children at Camp Ramah, the iconic Jewish retreat that is a cornerstone of the American Conservative movement.

Norman Rockwell’s studio on the grounds of the Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass. Wikimedia Commons
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