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  1. The lost coast

    Backpacking the Lost Coast

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    A few years ago, in mid-August, four friends and I set off down the beach from the mouth of the Mattole River. This short hike into the Northern California coastal wilderness offers plenty of stunning scenery, wildlife watching, and no crowds. Renown for its deep sand, disappearing trails, steep climbs, and isolation, the Lost Coast would not seem a likely choice for a lazy weekend. If you pack light, though, and bring some good hearty food, and don't hike too far, the Lost Coast makes a great trip, even for first time backpackers. 

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  2. Barrio China: Havana’s Chinatown

    Barrio China: Havana’s Chinatown

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    Havana is a city almost 500 years old. There is a lot of history on every street. Every “barrio” or neighborhood has stories to tell, and secrets to be discovered by the curious visitor.

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  3. Grand Union Hotel

    A Trip Back In Time - Grand Union Hotel: Fort Benton, Montana

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    If your travels take you near Great Falls, Montana, then please add a couple nights and visit the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton. Located 36 miles north of Great Falls, this is Montana’s oldest operating hotel. Built in 1882, 7 years before Montana became a state and at the height of the Steamboat era, this property cost $50,000 to construct and $150,000 to furnish. It ran on hard times in the 1980’s and had to close, but thanks to Jim and Cheryl Gagnon, Montana natives, the hotel was purchased by them in 1997, restored and then reopened in 1999. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  4. Hearst castle

    Hearst Castle

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    You know it has to be close to Paradise, when one of America’s truly richest men at the time buys a part of Heaven on Earth and sets out to create Paradise. 

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  5. Grand Del Mar

    The Grand Del Mar: San Diego, California

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    Heading to the west coast and looking for a touch of Mediterranean luxury – the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego is the place to go if you have a decent budget for your stay. Rooms start at $495 per night and in addition Villa style suites are available.

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  6. Highway 101

    Highway 101

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    If you travel west, take the Highway that’s the best… So go the lyrics of one of the most famous songs of bygone days. Well, that Highway, Route 66 really isn’t one of the most beautiful in the world. HIGHWAY 101, between San Francisco in the north, to Los Angeles in the south, is truly one of the world’s most scenic routes.

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  7. Castillo de San Marcos (Photo by Mike Miller)

    Saint Augustine, Florida

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    I have strong memories from my childhood vacations to Keystone Heights in north central Florida to visit my dad’s mom and family. Once each trip we would head off to Saint Augustine in my great- uncle’s Cadillac. I remember the huge old fort, the smell of the ocean, and the trees of unknown origin. Last winter, we stopped for an afternoon on our way to Seabrook Island, South Carolina. My return trip brought back these great memories and much more. 

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  8. Family Fun Fall Festivities

    Family Fun Fall Festivities

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    It’s finally fall and time for two of the most popular Disney World events – the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Here are some insider tips about these events and how to make the most of them, along with a few extra bonuses for your Orlando trip this season.

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  9. California Highway 1 Discovery Route Morro Bay Part One

    California Highway 1 Discovery Route Morro Bay Part One

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    Well, I think I’m in love – with the Central Coast of California, that is! I recently spent 5 days driving and staying along the Highway 1 Discovery Route. What a blast from the past and I mean that in a very good way!

     

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  10. Bukhara Navruz (Photo by Zulya Rajabova)

    New In-Depth Educational/Cultural Tours to Central Asia

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    Silk Road Treasure Tours is offering a series of two different educational group tours for 2015-2016.  These include: Following the Central Asia Silk Road (2015: June 2-19, July 10-27, August 14-31, September 18-October 4; 2016: June 2-19, August 4-21, September 15-October 2), and a Silk Road Study Tour to Uzbekistan (2015: June 3-12 and July 29-August 8; 2016: May 20-30, June 16-26, September 15-25).

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  11. On right track

    Pets Soon to be on the Right Track

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    Susie and Beau are always glad to hear about new opportunities for pets in travel. It has come to our attention that a bill has recently passed the House of Representatives (HR 2066) that will require Amtrak to allow pets aboard trains. The billed is dubbed the Pets on Trains Act, which is part of a larger package called the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act.

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  12. Photo by Richie Holbert

    I Love Lucy – Jamestown, NY

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    We recently spent the day in Jamestown, NY - the hometown of Lucille Ball. Our visit happened to be on Lucy’s birthday weekend, which is also the date for the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. 

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  13. Golden Gate

    Spotlight on San Francisco

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    Collette debuts a new leisure-stay tour for 2015 named Spotlight on San Francisco that features a relaxing four-night stay in San Francisco, “the City by the Bay.” Collette’s Spotlight on San Francisco offers travelers a chance to unpack their bags just once and enjoy their stay in the exciting city. From a sightseeing tour of the city, to a visit to Napa Valley, this tour has something for everyone to enjoy.

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  14. Train singer (Photo by Audrey Medina)

    Rolling through the Redwoods—Fort Bragg, California

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    The station in Fort Bragg is crowded with excited families, couples, a Boy Scout troop, and gangs of friends. As we climb aboard the Skunk Train, I take a window seat in one of the restored passenger cars. We’re on our way up the Noyo River, and deep into the redwoods.

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  15. Pineapple Upside Down Cake

    Pismo’s Coastal Grill: Fresno, California

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    Fresno is very lucky to have Pismo’s in this city. There were people waiting outside here for the doors to open. Now that tells you about success of a place always.

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  16. Tomatoes

    Farmers Markets and Farm Stands

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    When I was a young girl, my mom would take me to pick fresh blackberries. We would both come home and make pies and jam. To this day, blackberries are on the top of my favorites. As I started traveling by car throughout the US, I always had an urge to stop if I saw a farm stand or farmers market come up on the roadside. Wherever my address has been, you will see me at the local farmers markets. They are all so different, so unique and special and have become a way of most of our lives.

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  17. US Tours

    Collette Tours in Your Backyard

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    The United States is abundantly full of grand landscapes, iconic landmarks, and local cultures. There is no need to go around to world to have a fantastic time on tour with Collette! Collette offers tons of tours right in our own backyard that are filled with rich history, beauty and charm. From the exotic beauty of Hawaii to the frontier character of Texas, a wealth of surprising cultural experiences await. 

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  18. Sheraton Grand

    Sheraton Grand: Sacramento, California

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    Sacramento is not usually the first city that comes to mind when you visit California, but having been there twice, I have come to find it charming and well located. It has a Mediterranean climate, which makes it great to visit year round.

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  19. Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

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    If you like deserts, you’ll fall in love with PALM SPRINGS!  It’s like a giant mirage built in the desert, in the suffocating heat, with a/c spritzers cooling you as you walk the action packed streets.

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  20. Squaw Valley

    Squaw Valley, California

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    We all remember the FIRST TIME! Yes, that first time, but all the other wonderful ones that fill our lives with joy and happiness. I was living in San Francisco, a fine place to live, and like so many places I have lived; it’s in the center of so many other things. It’s a hub, to the north and the wine country, to the south LA, Palm Springs, the heat and Hollywood. And, just a short ride away into the mountains for skiing.  And there I fell in love – with skiing and Squaw Valley.

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  21. Denali National Park

    Collette Tours in Your Backyard

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    The United States is abundantly full of grand landscapes, iconic landmarks, and local cultures. There is no need to go around to world to have a fantastic time on tour with Collette! Collette offers tons of tours right in our own backyard that are filled with rich history, beauty and charm. From the exotic beauty of Hawaii to the frontier character of Texas, a wealth of surprising cultural experiences await. Check out some of these domestic Collette tours today! 

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  22. California Highway 1 Discovery Route Morro Bay Part Two

    California Highway 1 Discovery Route Morro Bay Part Two

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    Once I left Tognazzini’s Dockside, I checked into my accommodations at Harbor Front Suites. Actually, there was no check-in as I was provided with a pass code to enter my condo. It was in a private complex complete with a garage, which also had a code. It was really funny not having a card or keys, as my rental car also was keyless. It’s a new day, Boomers!

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  23. Stanford Court: The Place for Happy Dogs

    Stanford Court: The Place for Happy Dogs

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    Susie and Beau are definitely happy dogs! They are always looking for new places to carry their happy canine energy and believe they have found another one on the west coast in the Nob Hill district of San Francisco.

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  24. San Francisco is Celebrating the Summer of Love - 2017

    San Francisco is Celebrating the Summer of Love - 2017

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    In 1967 nearly 100,000 young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, turning San Francisco, CA into the epicenter of a cultural phenomenon known as the Summer of Love. During this transformative time, music, fashion, art and new ideas flourished and there was a feeling that everything was possible.

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  25. Encounters with Mexico's Flavors and Landscapes in Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca

    Encounters with Mexico's Flavors and Landscapes in Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca

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    Mexico’s cuisine is far more than tacos and burritos. It’s full of flavor from indigenous plants and grains, and regionally distinctive. Tia Stephanie Tours, a premier operator of cultural and culinary tours to Mexico, has now created three geographically-targeted gastronomic itineraries to Mexico, specifically: Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca. Each tour offers unique experiences emerging from the vibrant food culture, landscape, personality, and community of the particular locality. Notes Stephanie Schneiderman, Founder of Tia Stephanie Tours, “As a specialist in cultural travel to Mexico, we can’t think of a more important expression of Mexico’s culture, than its culinary heritage; its food.  We are delighted to expand our culinary immersion offerings beyond our original Culture and Cuisine of Mexico, which we launched in 2009.”

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