History

Discovering San Francisco's City Hall

One of SF's less-touristed treasures.

There are the usual San Francisco tourism sites: the Golden Gate, Lombard Street, Chinatown, etc. There are my favorites: the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Museum of Modern Art and de Young Museum. And ...

Macau: more than just the Asian Vegas

Beyond the glitz is a 400-year-old melting pot of East and West.

Macau has gained a reputation in recent years as a gambling mecca – “the Asian Las Vegas.” However, beneath the glitz and neon is a vibrant Portuguese-Chinese fusion culture and a former trading post with ...

Hidden Bruges: Bonifacius Bridge

Discovery in Belgium's Venice of the North.

Bruges can easily be called one of Belgium's greatest tourist traps. Loads of expensive restaurants, hundreds of surely overpriced hotels and many, many tourists. Thanks to a great guide, though, I experienced an idyllic moment ...

Saarbrücken, Germany

International history, international flavor.

Saarbrücken, the capital of the German state of Saarland that’s right on the French border, was part of an independent nation-state created after WWI. It changed political control back and forth: at times it was ...

Essential Budapest

A guide to the Eastern European city's classic treasures.

Few people are aware that Budapest is actually two cities, Buda and Pest, situated along the banks of the Danube River. Most visitors stay in Pest – it's got more to offer in terms of ...

Rajasthan, India: land of the kings

India's calmer, yet vibrant northwest.

The largest state in India, Rajasthan, located in the northwest of the country, is known as “the land of the kings." Rajasthan is wrapped in vibrant colors, with impressive cities including the Pink City of ...

Randsburg, CA: a living ghost town

Gold Rush–era relic just three hours north of San Diego.

If you're a fan of Westerns, at one time or another you've seen one filmed in Randsburg, where the spirit of the old West is alive and thriving just three hours' drive from San Diego. ...

Mystical Glendalough, Ireland

An hour from Dublin, find ancient ruins, hiking trails and postcard beauty.

As I walked near the mist-shrouded lakes beyond the ruins of the Glendalough monastery, it was easy to imagine there were magical creatures just beyond my field of vision. A misty morning stroll past the ...

Eureka! SD Theater History Gold

I was researching at the San Diego History Center and Jane Kenealy, she of the encyclopedic memory, asked me if I’d ever seen the Temple collection. I hadn’t. She emerged from the archives with two ...

Georgia (the country)

Offbeat finds, budget prices, rich cuisine and culture, no tourists.

Google “Georgia,” and you are much more likely to get recipes for peach pie than to learn about the unique ex-Soviet republic where wine was invented and a special language and culture survived a thousand ...

California's castle in the sand

The historic Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park.

When castles and California are mentioned in conversation, Hearst Castle, which dominates a stretch of Central Coast skyline, usually comes to mind. You might be surprised to learn that a less opulent but even more ...

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