Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

An Air Of Fear

11/03/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

I was sitting in LAX about a month ago when a fellow traveler asked me, “Are you scared to be flying, with Ebola?”

For the cautious traveler, a bit of sensible precautions can allay travels fears. Above, the Halifax Airport.  Wikimedia Commons

The Core Of California

10/27/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

High up in the San Bernardino Mountains, I found all the apples I needed to ring in the Jewish New Year.

An apple store and a farm store make for good shopping in harvest season in rural California.  Hilary Larson/JW

Seattle After Dark

10/20/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Given all the coffee its residents drink, it shouldn’t be surprising that Seattle stays up late.

I was tipped off to this by my sister, an inveterate night owl and Seattlephile who starts her day when most people are winding theirs down. She and my brother-in-law take their morning coffee around 5 p.m., then look for things to do while everybody else is at dinner. And that’s how I discovered that Seattle’s most hallowed attractions are all the more attractive after dark.

A Dale Chihuly sculpture set against the Space Needle at night. Amy Larson

Reveling In ‘Island Time’

10/13/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Note: This is the second of two articles on Jamaica.

Hermosa Cove is aptly named, I thought as I took a seat on the shady veranda of the eponymous resort. Before me, a pale-aqua sea lapped gently at a tiny, pristine beach. Earlier that morning I had taken a dip in these waters off Ocho Rios, where a rocky coastline and thick, jungle-like forests conceal some of Jamaica’s most intimate resorts.

Hermosa Cove, near Ocho Rios. Hilary Larson/JW

Jewish Life In Kingston Town

10/07/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Note: This is the first of two articles on Jamaica.

For those who complain that Caribbean resorts are too plastic, too generic or lacking in local culture, Kingston is the antidote.

Devon House, a mansion that belonged to a succession of well-heeled members Jamaica's Jewish community. Elie Klein

The Mile End, And Beyond

09/30/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Note: This is the third of three articles on eastern Canada. The other two focused on Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

St-Viateur Bagels in Montreal is run by Joe Morena, who calls himself a "good Italian boy who speaks Yiddish." George Medovoy/JW

Down East: Riding The Canadian Rails

09/23/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Note: This is the second of three articles on eastern Canada. Next week: Montreal’s Jewish food and arts scenes.

“The Ocean,” VIA Rail Canada’s round-trip overnight service between Montreal, Quebec and Halifax, Nova Scotia, is taking me to the city that greeted my late father in 1924.

Like so many Jewish immigrants, he arrived by ship, but I arrive in Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada, in the comfort and style of a modern Canadian train.

Striking view from the Montreal-Halifax VIA Rail route.

Rosh HaShanah In The Highlands

09/15/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

09/08/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

09/01/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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
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