Travel

Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Rosh HaShanah In The Highlands

09/16/2014
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Note: This is the first of three stories on eastern Canada. Pieces on Prince Edward Island and Montreal will follow in subsequent weeks.

Of all the wild, strange places in Canada, Newfoundland stands out for an oddity unique in North America: its own separate time zone, a half-hour ahead of everyone else.

St. John, a city of about 100,000 feels like a small British city, relaxed and easy to enjoy.  Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Echoes Of Paris

09/09/2014
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As a longtime Europhile, I have to stifle a sigh when yet another friend tells me about an upcoming Paris vacation.

It’s not that I have anything against the City of Light. Au contraire! Paris has picturesque boulevards, iconic monuments, myriad museums, fabulous food, addiction-inducing shopping and a delightful urbanity that has seduced generations of Yankees. It is rightfully a mecca for connoisseurs of architecture, opera and European-Jewish culture.

Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale, a museum and a center for cultural events and arts exhibitions. Wikimedia Commons

Dutch Treats, Off The Beaten Path

09/02/2014
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Alkmaar, Deventer, Groningen, Amersfoort: these are not prominent destinations on the European traveler’s itinerary.

Yet these small Dutch cities are all repositories of Jewish heritage, from synagogues to literary monuments. They all boast antique medieval districts and sights that range from castles to canals.

The canals of Alkmaar provide a typical flavor of a small town in the Netherlands. Wikimedia Commons

Late Summer On The Upper Cape

08/26/2014
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There was more than a hint of September in the crisp blue sky as a massive white ferry boat glided into port at Woods Hole, Mass.

The dockside park in Woods Hole. Hilary Larson/JW

Travel As Antidote To The Headlines

08/19/2014
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I am going to Israel in November. It is a press trip I have been planning since last spring, and I am excited to check out what’s new in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and some spots up north.

Dancers on the beach in Haifa. Courtesy of Israel Tourism

An Iberian Idyll

08/12/2014
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Question: Where is the largest and arguably the most impressive synagogue on the Iberian Peninsula?

Answer: Not where you’d think.

View over Porto and the Douro River. Courtesy of Portugal Tourism

Down By The River

Fall’s opening of the Tobin performing arts center will add to San Antonio’s already fabled River Walk.

08/06/2014
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Dallas may be sophisticated and Houston a booming business hub, but San Antonio — America’s seventh-largest city — remains the historical heart of urban Texas. It’s the place where a proud Jewish heritage meets mariachi culture in a Mexican-spiced hybrid, and where even the newest attractions have a historical twist.

San Antonio’s La Villita Historic Arts Village is highlight of the city’s downtown River Walk. San Antonio Convention

Bohemia On The Prairie

07/29/2014
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Few New Jersey commuters think of Interstate 80 as the conduit to grand adventure. And for those who do contemplate the transcontinental journey on I-80 — its western terminus is San Francisco — the long Midwestern slog through days of corn fields may seem less exciting than the southerly route through deserts and canyons.

The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library lies on the banks of the Cedar River across Lion’s Bridge.  Cedar Rapids Conven

Late Nights, From Paris To Madrid

07/22/2014
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I once spent a night in the Place des Vosges.

That may sound romantic to those who know the lovely park at heart of Paris’s Marais quarter. But when I say I spent the night, I don’t mean that I slept in a plush hotel in the trendy Jewish district. I spent that night on a damp, uncomfortable bench by a fountain, because I had missed the last metro of the evening back to my hotel and had decided it would be interesting to wander all night in the City of Light. And around 4 a.m. — after hours spent strolling the quiet boulevards, pressing my nose against the glass of darkened boutiques and bakeries — I finally collapsed on that bench and dozed until the sky turned pink.

The City of Lights, above, at night. For one traveler. Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Less Traveled

07/15/2014
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Heading off Interstate 95 just north of the Connecticut border, I drove recently along curving, two-lane byways through a thick summer forest, with little more in view beyond the occasional road sign. I kept heading south, and gradually the forests thinned out a bit; seagulls began to appear, along with wild pink roses and those bushy, stunted oaks you see near salt water.

The scenic Watch Hill cove is a popular summer vacation spot along the southern Rhode Island coast. Hilary Larson/JW
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