History

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 ...

Small-town Italy: a Tuscan welcome, Greve in Chianti

8th in a series. Derek Ray finds good wine and the simple life in Tuscany.

While visiting Florence, I took the opportunity to spend a few nights in a little town about 30 kilometers to the south called Greve in Chianti. The Chianti region, well known for its Chianti Classico ...

Small-town Italy: Orvieto and Civita

7th article in a series on the country's lesser-visited charms.

For hundreds of years, Orvieto was a major stopping point along the road from Florence to Rome. It was so highly regarded through the centuries that it is only one of two cities outside of ...

Coachella Valley by jeep

A new way to see the desert beauty of the Palm Springs area.

Who would think that parts of the desert are full of water? Especially since the Coachella Valley gets only six to eight inches of rain every year. But when I took the Desert Adventures Red ...

Leipzig, Germany

A change of pace in this historic, music-rich urban center.

Leipzig, in what was East Germany, was one of Europe’s most important music centers. I knew Felix Mendelssohn Barthody and Johann Sebastian Bach lived here. As it turns out, Clara and Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, ...

Mackinac Island

No cars allowed on this old-time isle off Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The biggest draw of Northern Michigan is Mackinac Island. Home to only 450 permanent residents, the island hosts over 1,000,000 visitors each season. Besides its natural beauty and history, Mackinac Island is well known for ...

Tonga: forgotten South Pacific

Want authentic island culture? You'll find it here.

As I was being driven to my hotel by the hotel’s transfer service from Tongatapu’s international airport, the King of Tonga decided to provide me with a personal escort into Nuku’alofa, the capital city. Ok, ...

Honoring the fallen at Ypres

WWI reminders in Belgium.

Though the reasons for WWI are murky to most Americans – something about the assassination of an Archduke, as well as the unification of feudal-era principalities into modern nation-states – the war brought our country ...

Small-town Italy: Urbino

Urbino, a former center of culture during the Renaissance, has largely been forgotten by tourists due to its location in the Marche region of Italy. But, despite having far fewer visitors than its more glamorous ...