Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

A Visit That Computes

Travel Writer

Every morning in San Francisco’s trendy Mission District, as artisanal bakeries fire up their ovens and hipster coffee shops pour $6 brews, a quiet army of Dockers-clad engineers climbs aboard buses and heads out of town.

Victorian architecture in downtown Los Gatos, home to one of Silicon Valley’s most established Judaica shops. Wikimedia Commons

Beating The Growing Crowds

Travel Writer

The claustrophobia might peak along the Ramblas, Barcelona’s fabled boulevard, in a shoulder-to-shoulder jostle of tourists and pickpockets. Or it might flare up amid the congested alleys of the Gothic Quarter — alleys that would feel romantic if there were room to breathe.

Carrer Blai in the Poble Sec neighborhood of Barcelona. Wikimedia Commons

A Room With A Few (Kids, That Is)

Travel Writer

When I wrote recently about the difficulty of finding appropriate lodgings with a child in tow, I figured I wasn’t alone. What surprised me was how few resources address the pressing needs of what is — let’s face it — an enormous travel demographic.

The Golden Tulip Mangosteen Timeshare Resort in Thailand. Time-shares were a popular reader suggestion. Wikimedia Commons

If You’ve Got A Few Hours To Kill…

Travel Writer

About 15 years ago, on my way to a meeting in Los Angeles, I received word that it had been cancelled. My flight left early the next morning — but I suddenly had an entire evening at my disposal, on a coast with spectacular sunsets.

The canals of Venice, CA offer a scenic venue for a colorful look at California's culture. H. Danailova/JW

Tourism Notes, From North To South

Travel Writer

It may be one of the world’s oldest civilizations, but there’s always something new in Israel.

The Negev is an up-and-coming region for Israel travel. Israel Ministry of Tourism

Post-season Escapes

Travel Writer

Many people vacation in July and August for solid reasons: school is out, office schedules loosen, days are long and beaches beckon.

Savannah, with its lyrical, historic-district parks, is perfect for a late-summer visit.  Wikimedia Commons

A Suite Holiday

Travel Writer

Last summer a magazine editor asked me to write about traveling with kids. He knew I had a baby daughter, and between my travel beat and the peripatetic nature of our family, he thought I’d have great insights to share.

It’s a great room but where does the baby sleep? Hilary Danailova/JW

Bulgaria’s In The Cards

Travel Writer

An Israeli relative by marriage is an enormous fan of casinos. This is a bit of problem back in Tel Aviv, where gambling is severely restricted by Israeli law.

A Bulgarian city is a popular site for Israeli poker players in search of recreation. Hilary Danailova/JW

A Real-Life Downton

Travel Writer

It was while waiting for the dumbwaiter elevator that I noticed the small, merry line of bells above the foyer doorway. With a spark of recognition, I realized where I’d seen them before: Downton Abbey!

The grounds around the Federal Revival-style Langdon Hall. Courtesy of Langdon Hall

The Bard’s Welcome Here, Too

Travel Writer

After six hours waiting at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, I got the bad news: My colleague’s flight had been cancelled, so I’d be attending a weekend’s worth of theater by myself at the legendary Stratford Festival. Since half the fun of seeing a show is talking about it afterwards, I figured I was in for a lonely trip.

Canada’s Stratford, site of annual plays by the bard and other playwrights. Courtesy of Stratford Festival
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