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The doors of the Airlink 100 bus from Edinburgh airport hissed open at what we thought was the stop nearest to our hotel. The desk clerk I’d emailed said the stop was directly in front of the hotel, which was supposed to be close to the city center. As the bus pulled away, we did not appear to be either opposite the hotel or near the center of anything, except a row of low-rise brown stone structures and a four-lane road. Wrong stop.
Despite frigid temperatures plaguing some parts of the U.S., winter does have unique charms, whether it’s getting cozy by a fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate in a mountain inn or heading outdoors to a magical landscape of forests and mountains sparkling with snow.
“ ‘Places to Love’ is about finding the experiences, the destinations, but, most importantly, the people who really make us feel like we’re part of a place,” Brown said.
Two American cities mark tricentennials in 2018: San Antonio and New Orleans.
A surprisingly cold wind swept across the desolate beach at Volunteer Point, one of the Falkland Islands’ most popular tourist destinations, but the throngs of king, gentoo and Magellanic penguins didn’t seem to mind. This sight made the two hours of bumpy four-wheeling over roadless peat beds worthwhile, and neither the overcast skies nor the midsummer chill could dampen the excitement I felt as I gazed at the largest colony of king penguins outside of Antarctica. More than a thousand of the stately birds huddled in a protective circle, many straddling a single egg or feeding a downy gray chick. Occasionally a few adults waddled unsteadily away from the group, past a separate cluster of gentoo penguins, looking for their next meal in the frigid, steel-gray South Atlantic waters. As I photographed this milange of assorted penguins, I felt that this extraordinary penguin encounter alone made our cruise worthwhile.
Milwaukee is like a smaller, more navigable Chicago, just as beautiful with its Lake Michigan shoreline. Just as trendy with its bars, hotels and restaurants. And just as artsy with its museums and public sculptures.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – Yosemite National Park might not seem like an ideal winter destination, particularly if you’re from a part of the country where you’d like to trade in road salt for rim salt on your margarita and leave the words “wind chill” behind. But Yosemite in winter is magical, as I discovered last year on a trip there with my family just after Christmas. There’s snowboarding and skiing, both downhill and cross-country, as well as sledding (pick up a plastic saucer at a sporting goods store on the way). You can also ice skate at a rink in the shadow of the famed granite formation known as Half Dome. Park rangers also lead snowshoe walks (free with $3 suggested donation).
Oregon’s quirkiest city may tout its desire to “Keep Portland Weird,” but it’s the Zen of the place that takes hold at the Portland Japanese Garden.
New D.C. museum is an ambitious attempt to appeal simultaneously to people of deep faith and no faith, and to stand out amid the impressive constellation of museums in Washington.
OCAMPO, Mexico – This is a story that must begin at the end. But oh, what an end. I stood on a forested mountaintop in Mexico in late February, mesmerized by monarch butterflies swirling around me, darting in and out of the trees and pockets of sunlight. They were high in the blue skies, clumped by the thousands on tree trunks and branches, clustered on woodland flowers and swarming in small streams of water on the forest floor. The sound of their wings was like a whisper on the breeze.
My wife, Ann, and I braved a late-September heatwave to survey Hubbard’s and Olmsted’s influence on the state of New York. We stopped in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, all near Interstate 90, before finishing up in New York City, where we walked through Central Park, the project that had launched Olmsted’s storied career.
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – Away from bustling Santa Fe and quirky Albuquerque, New Mexico offers stunning natural wonders, wide expanses of desert and mountains and clear skies that guarantee endless days of sightseeing and outdoor fun. On a recent trip, I got to experience all that, plus delicious food, a rodeo and a hot-air balloon ride.
I recently reached a goal that I’ve been working on for most of my life: I visited all 50 states. And I’ve been surprised by how many others I know who have been on the very same quest.
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