Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Late Summer On The Upper Cape

08/25/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

08/18/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

08/11/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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.

08/05/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

07/28/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

07/21/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

07/14/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

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

In Old Menemsha, A Modern Breeze Blows

07/07/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

‘You’ll never believe this,” I said to my sister over the phone from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. “They’re selling cocktails in Menemsha!”

“Cocktails in Menemsha? I do not believe you,” she responded. “Have you actually ordered one?”

Menemsha Harbor, as seen from the porch of the Galley, a takeout lunch spot. Hilary Larson/JW

The Magic Of Menorca

06/30/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

This is not an easy month to be a Spaniard. The vaunted national soccer team, which won the last two major international tournaments, just suffered an ignominious first-round ouster from the World Cup. The royal family is in turmoil as well: public support is at a nadir, with the princess facing legal troubles and the king having just abdicated.

Menorca’s scenic Es Castell harbor in eastern Menorca is part of tourists’ attraction to the area. Hilary Larson/JW

Jewish Culture’s Summer Home

06/23/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

When Rabbi Barbara Cohen settled in the Berkshire mountains 34 years ago, the Jewish community was so small that “the joke always was that everybody was related here,” recalled the Long Island native.

Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Lenox, which hosts a “Nosh and Drosh” text-study group.  Barbara Cohen
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