Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

France In The Caribbean

Travel Writer

It’s midwinter and as frostbite sets in on your hike to the subway, you’re pining for a beach. But your spouse disdains the Caribbean, preferring the cosmopolitan pleasures of Europe.

The beach at Anses d’Arlets. Antoine Omare

The Language Barrier

Travel Writer

My friend Kathy recently returned from a trip to France. It was her second trip to the country, after perhaps a 20-year interval; for her husband, who was there to collect a journalism prize, it was the first time in France. They spent a few days in Paris, and then traveled up the Norman coast.

Some signs — like this one, in Italy — need no translation. Hilary Larson

Good Skiing And Some Jewish History, Too

Travel Writer

Who knew there were mountains in Poland? It’s certainly cold enough to ski in winter, but most of this vast, northern country is notably flat.

Winter fun in Zakopane. Hilary Larson

Amid The Jewish Mountaineers

Travel Writer

I was driving through the faded-brick center of Morgantown, W.Va., when I spotted something incongruous: Hebrew lettering. On closer inspection, it turned out to be the West Virginia University Hillel building — hardly a surprising sight in a college town.

An overview of Morgantown, home to the West Virginia University Mountaineers. Courtesy Greater Morgantown CVB

The Perils Of A Woman Traveling Solo

Travel Writer

I was speeding down I-95 near Baltimore when something totally unexpected happened: I was racially profiled in America.

Australian women on an outing in the early 1900s. Wikimedia Commons

Jewish (And More) On The Riviera

Travel Writer

Of all the tiny European mini-states, Monaco is nearly the tiniest (only Vatican City is smaller), arguably the most legendary and certainly the most fabulous.

A view of Monaco-Ville. Photo courtesy of Monaco Press Center

A Stroll Through Jewish History In Queen Village

Travel Writer

I strolled along South Street to the dissonance of two competing hip-hop beats, one blaring from each side of the block. On a warm fall day, the rhythm seemed an agreeable accompaniment to a leisurely stroll through Queen Village, Philadelphia’s oldest residential neighborhood.

A historic block in Queen Village. R. Kennedy for GPTMC

One Whale Of A Town

Travel Writer

It’s Indian summer on the south coast of Massachusetts; a languid heat settles over the cranberry bogs, and the swamps shimmer red and russet in the October sun.

This replica of the Lagoda, a 19th-century whaling ship, is the largest anywhere. Photo courtesy New Bedford Whaling Museum

Traveling Lighter

Travel Writer

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am the queen of packing light.
For years, I’d show up for a summer visit of a month of more with only an L.L. Bean backpack, then enjoy the incredulous looks on my hosts’ faces when they realized there was no checked suitcase. “Just this,” I’d crow, “and I probably could have packed it lighter.”

Radical lightness: The author’s new backpack. Hilary Larson

Southern Andes Hideaway, With Chabad House

Travel Writer

Ah, Bariloche. Even in the ’60s, when much of Latin America was terra incognita for North Americans — a realm of dodgy dictators and exotic, uncharted landscapes — Argentina’s premier mountain resort was a cosmopolitan hub. My mother has fond memories of that era, and how civilized it all was, with cocktails in the chalet and suave waiters who spoke fluent English.

Refugio Laguna Negra, in Bariloche, above. Bottom, a Patagonian lake. Photos courtesy Argentina Tourism
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