History

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 ...

Rhode Island: little state, big history

Plenty of gems in this often-overlooked New England destination.

Rhode Island is America’s smallest state by area and its eighth-least populated. Despite this, it’s one of America’s most historic states, having been settled in 1636. Rhode Island was established as a colony by Roger ...

Decadence in Bruges

Must-sees in Belgium's medieval masterpiece.

In the Middle Ages, back when canals were the super-highways of Europe, Bruges experienced a surge of wealth and culture. Before the canals started silting, there was a direct route to the sea from the ...

No worries in Potsdam

Germany's Versailles is an easy side trip from Berlin.

“You’re American? What are you doing here? Usually Americans just visit Berlin.” This was the response I received after a vendor asked me a question in German. Apparently, most American tourists forego 1,000-year-old Potsdam, Berlin's ...

Locke – CA's last Chinese town

This Central Valley community recalls the days of Steinbeck.

The houses slant sideways and the opium dens are gone, but Locke, California, takes visitors back more than 90 years to a unique Chinese farming community. Thanks to the work of a few locals with ...

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