Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Old World History, New World Recreation

Travel Writer
Story Includes Video: 

On my first visit, St. Augustine, Fla., was not what I expected.

Intrigued by the romance of a place founded by Spaniards more than four centuries ago, I imagined it might share some of the flavor of colonial settlements in Latin America: cobblestone streets, pastel haciendas and shady courtyards.

The Old Town I actually saw, though, felt more like the Wild West than San Miguel de Allende.

The Spanish-style Cathedral Basilica, left. Right, strolling along in St. Augustine’s Old Town. Hilary Larson

Rules Of The Road

Travel Writer

I loved my 2009 honeymoon, two weeks of frolicking among the villages of Italy’s Ligurian coast.

The long and winding road: Off the beaten path in Bulgaria. Photos by Hilary Larson

Biscayne Boulevard Rising

Travel Writer

For most visitors — and I am no different — Miami is essentially South Beach. Even though its wide, sandy beachfront and Art Deco landmarks aren’t in Miami proper, South Beach feels more like our idea of Miami than the empty sidewalks and soulless glass towers of downtown.

Shoppers in the Miami Design District northeast of downtown. Hilary Larson

Tips For That First Roots Journey

A few pieces of advice for teens embarking on a summer maiden voyage to the Jewish state (Birthright, not included).

Travel Writer

When my cousin went to Israel on a teen tour  20 years ago, she came home raving about the experiences she’d had: the taste of fresh pita, the surprising contrasts in landscape, the day spent hanging with soldiers in Israeli Defense Forces.

Camel riding during Young Judaea’s Year Program. Photo courtesy Young Judaea/NFTY

The Keys To Florida

Travel Writer

Like many foreigners, my husband, Oggi, was intrigued by the Florida Keys, a singular geography that has no European equivalent. Every year during the Florida family trip, I’ve promised him that we’ll drive all the way down to Key West. This year I finally delivered.

It looks much the same as the last time I visited — in the mid-’80s, with my dad at the wheel. My dad likes to talk about the old U.S. Route 1: how it was the Maine-to-Florida highway when he was growing up, before they built the Interstate. According to him, U.S. 1 hasn’t changed much.

Bicycling on Duval Street, Key West’s main commercial drag. Hilary Larson

Jewish Culture North Of The Border

Travel Writer
Story Includes Video: 

Toronto is one of those cities that people who live there rave about. They’ll tell you about the cultural diversity, the fabulous ethnic food, the great public transit.

The Toronto skyline at night. A flurry of Jewish festivals defines spring in Canada’s cultural capital.

An Art Nouveau Spring

Travel Writer

Prague spring blossoms with the curlicued flowers and vines of Art Nouveau.

The Art Nouveau façade of the Jerusalem Synagogue in Prague. Photo courtesy

Jewish History On The Gulf

Travel Writer

Spring blows into Galveston Island on a warm Gulf breeze. By April, these peaceful golden shores are basking in 70-degree afternoons, with native seabirds circling overhead and lazy ripples spreading from the fishermen’s lines. Weekend traffic is starting to get heavy: Houston is just a 40-minute drive away.

A row of candy-colored homes dot Galveston’s historic East End. Photo courtesy Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Reveling In The Slow Pace Of Deerfield

Far from South Beach, Cel-Ray and shuffleboard with the grandparents make for a relaxing, low-key Florida vacation.

Travel Writer

“Where are you headed?” asked my seatmate on the flight from Madrid
to Miami.

Deerfield Beach, an hour north of Miami, is a site of low-slung bungalows and 1940s budget motels.

Belgium’s Capital Of Culture

Travel Writer

The group at the next table is chattering away in something that sounds like German, but maybe it’s not. Swiss-Deutsch?

Dancers at the Balkan Trafik Festival, perhaps Europe’s largest festival of Balkan music. Photo courtesy Balkan Trafik Festival
Syndicate content