Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Faded History, Modern Spirit

08/13/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Gazing at the stately Moorish arches and symmetrical domed roofline, I could understand how the Great Synagogue of Constanta, Romania, had earned its moniker.

The Constanta Casino is set on a rocky split of land on the Black Sea coast. Photo via

Craggy Fjords, Edvard Munch And More

08/05/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

I arrived in Bergen on a day so spectacular it looked almost unreal. A brilliant blue sky was reflected in the city’s central lake, punctuated by a shimmering fountain; at water’s edge, students sprawled on emerald-green grass under bright-pink cherry trees in bloom.

Students relax fjordside in Bergen, the Norwegian city where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Hilary Larson

Film And Farm, Flora And Fauna

07/29/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

When the sun shines on Martha’s Vineyard, everybody heads outdoors. The coves of this island off Cape Cod fill with kayakers and clammers; bikers whizz (and wheeze) along forest paths, and beachgoers frolic in the cold blue surf.

The butterfly garden at Felix Neck Wildlife sanctuary, above. Inset, a view from the sanctuary. Hilary Larson

The Jewish Connection

07/22/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

After only a day and a half in Oslo, I started to recognize people on the street.

Oslo’s Holocaust Center features some intensely personal displays. Hilary Larson

A Jewish Eye For V.I.

07/15/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Who knew there were rainforests in Canada? Snow, mountains, stormy Pacific beaches: those you expect. But Vancouver Island — a sprawling landmass just across the Inside Passage from its namesake city — has all of these and dense coastal rainforest, too.

Canada’s Pacific coast at Tofino boasts watery inlets and a temperate rainforest.  Tourism BC/J.F. Bergeron

Northern (Jewish) Exposure

07/08/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

I woke up every couple of hours during my first night in Trondheim, Norway. I couldn’t resist peeking out the window to see if it ever got dark. And no, it didn’t.

Trondheim’s old wharves along the Nidelva River. Hilary Larson

The New Price Of Vacationing

07/01/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

‘Paris is so expensive,” one girlfriend complained over a basil martini at a recent girls’ night out. We had all recently returned from jaunts overseas, and the topic had turned to that perennial kvetch of American travelers: how expensive “Europe” is.

Receipts from a recent European jaunt. Hilary Larson

The Book On Summer Culture

06/25/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Always havens for warm-weather culture, the artsy towns of the Berkshires — from Stockbridge and Great Barrington to Pittsfield and North Adams — have developed a distinctly bookish identity of late. This summer’s lineup of lectures, book groups, film screenings and classes might have you wondering if you’re really vacationing in the mountains — or on a college campus.

A view of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. Photo courtesy Berkshire Visitors Bureau

Every Day, A Jewish Celebration

06/17/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

There is so much raucous nightlife on Ibiza that it can be a challenge to appreciate how very tranquila this island can be. Best known for its international D.J. scene and jet-set parties, Ibiza — the liveliest of Spain’s Balearic islands — is also a paradise of limpid turquoise coves, sun-baked villages and stunning Mediterranean vistas.

Ibiza, a scenic Spanish island. ©Xescu Prats, courtesy Consell Insular d’Eivissa

Pacific Heights

06/10/2013 - 20:00
Travel Writer

It was still April, but the temperature unexpectedly soared into the high 90s in Southern California. The sidewalks sizzled; the canyons seemed to shimmer. A hot blanket of haze settled over the valleys.

The craggy shoreline of Laguna Beach offers a combination of beautiful scenery, warm air and surprisingly chilly water.
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