Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Heritage Tourism In Europe

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

From Poland to Portugal, nobody knows Jewish Europe like Ruth Ellen Gruber.

On a given week, the Philadelphia-born journalist might be checking out a newly opened museum, inspecting the restoration of a prewar synagogue, or picking her way through forest brambles in search of long-lost tombstones. That explains how Gruber found herself recently in the wilderness south of Prague, where she stumbled onto an 18th-century Jewish cemetery in a clearing near a faded sign marking “Synagogue Street.”

The synagogue at Ustek in the Czech Republic, one of the highlights of the Czech 10 Stars Project. Wikimedia Commons

A Scent Of Paradise

10/06/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

It’s hurricane season in the Atlantic! That’s plain to anyone suffering through a wet, dreary East Coast fall. With the onset of chilly nights, it’s time to think about a winter escape.

The idyllic harbor in Grenada.  Wikimedia Commons

A Visit That Computes

09/29/2015 - 20:00
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

09/23/2015 - 20:00
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)

09/16/2015 - 20:00
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…

09/08/2015 - 20:00
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

08/31/2015 - 20:00
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

08/24/2015 - 20:00
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

08/17/2015 - 20:00
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

08/10/2015 - 20:00
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
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