Travel Stories

Must-see Joshua Tree

During the winter months, there's nothing more accelerating for the spirit than peacefully camping out in a temperate desert like Joshua Tree National Park. Less than three hours away from downtown San Diego, the park ...

Saginaw, MI: first American home of my ancestors

A writer's journey to uncover Midwestern roots.

Most people only know the town of Saginaw, Michigan, from the song made popular in the 1960s by country singer Lefty Frizzel. Some hipsters might know another song, “If I Ever Get to Saginaw” by ...

New Zealand’s otherworldly Tongariro Crossing

The 12-mile volcanic trail is heralded as one of the country's best.

I have a mix of fear and respect for volcanoes. They are imposing, difficult to climb, and can erupt with little warning. However, when my husband and I visited New Zealand, our friends strongly recommended ...

Late-season climb on Mount San Jacinto

Two hours from S.D., million-dollar views await.

The 360° vista from Mount San Jacinto's 10,834-foot summit is breathtaking: Southern California’s parched land hopscotches sprawling metropolis in every direction. Palm Springs spreads like a patchwork quilt in the east. Riverside and San Bernardino ...

Montréal's past and future

Must-sees in French-speaking Quebec's cultural capital.

Despite being a large city, a worthwhile sampling of Montreal can be explored in one day. A clean and efficient metro system makes the city easy to navigate. Some advanced planning is recommended, however; not ...

A day with the Gipper: Reagan Presidential Library

Check out this one-of-a-kind museum under three hours from San Diego.

Air Force One is a lot cozier than I imagined. The comfortable leather chairs, soft blue carpeting and large jars of jelly beans remind me of my aunt’s living room. From the inside it’s almost ...

Ringing of the bells: St. Petersburg, Russia

More than famous names in one of the city's historical treasures.

Cemeteries have always fascinated me, and I have visited them all over the world. On a recent trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia, I visited the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Founded in 1710, it contains some of ...

Luck and fate in Mexico's Tepotzotlán

A visit to this appointed "magical town" near Mexico City.

Hidden in Mexico City's northern outskirts is the town of Tepotzotlán. Despite how close they are to one another, Tepotzotlán is about a two-hour drive from Mexico City due to havoc traffic. When I arrived, ...

Norway on the cheap (it's possible)

I’ll be honest. We visited 131 countries before finally summoning the courage to travel to Norway. No, we weren’t worried about crime, political instability, or unhealthy conditions. In fact, there's almost a complete absence of ...

Day trip to Santa Ysabel

San Diego road-trippers (and gluten lovers) take note.

It’s the time of year when fellow motorcyclists back east and up north are storing their bikes for the winter. The fall rains and coming winter snows, accompanied by frigid temperatures, will leave them reading ...

Finding the roots of American music in North Louisiana

As a former musician myself, I shake my head sadly at musicians who think they’re getting the folk zeitgeist of a given genre just by listening to records. You learn folk music by listening to ...

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Tour of the Skateboard Museum in Simi Valley, ...

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Road trip on I-5? Skip the drive-thrus — stop in Avenal, near ...

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Just a typical night on Nola's Frenchmen Street.

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