Picture Yourself In A Boat On A River

The river cruise market is expected to grow by $3,206 million over the next three years, surpassing all travel sectors. Forbes reports that industry leader Viking began with four river ships in 1997 and expanded to 79 in 2022 when it added Mississippi River cruises. River cruising is for people who enjoy learning about history, eating great food, experiencing amazing architecture, and meeting new people. Read More

The House of Neptune and Amphitrite gets its name from this stunning mosaic in its dining room


The first thing you notice upon entering Herculaneum is how resplendent it is, how unapologetically it asserts itself as Rome’s resort town for the rich and famous. To be sure, you’ve seen plenty of wealthy residents and villas in your hometown of Pompeii, just 5.5 miles away. But whereas Pompeii is a bustling commercial center…


When in Mérida, Do as the Romans Did

  By Richard Varr Corinthian columns stand double-stacked across a wide Roman stage, and although chipped and riddled with cracks, the remarkably well-preserved blue-streaked marble pillars add to the splendor of one of Spain’s most visited landmarks of antiquity: the Roman Theatre of Mérida. “Most of it was hidden in a thick layer of earth…

There’s More to Romania than Transylvania, Dracula and Ghostly Carpathian Forests

Romania conjures mysterious and sinister images of Count Dracula and the Transylvanian forests. The foreboding Bran Castle high in the Carpathian Mountains certainly looks like the location of Irish writer Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Stoker’s story of vampires rising from their coffins is an invented tale. But in autumn when twilight comes early it’s easy to imagine ghostly spirits of the undead lurking in the shadows.

Yet the Bucharest I saw was a bustling metropolis with museums and traffic jams, wide boulevards and cobblestone streets, good restaurants and late-night clubs. And a handful of lakes and gardens.

wine experience

Tempranillo’s Journey From Medieval Spain to Modern North America

Tempranillo’s tale begins during the Middle Ages, a turbulent yet transformational period for Spanish viticulture. As the Moors retreated south, the Christian reconquest brought a resurgence of wine production across the Iberian Peninsula. In the wake of Islam’s retreat, people could enjoy drinking again. Historians speculate that the Tempranillo grape was cultivated by monastic orders,…


Forget Crowded Highways. Enjoy Your Next Vacation on a Houseboat

Houseboats lure thousands of families to rivers and lakes for unique, get-away-from-it-all vacations. The slow-moving vessels sleep up to a dozen passengers and are equipped with many modern amenities, such as ovens, refrigerators, toilets, hot showers, gourmet kitchens and bedrooms with linens. Some houseboats look downright luxurious, albeit somewhat compact. Lake Powell is billed as America’s Best Houseboating Destination because of the stunning scenery in southern Utah and neighboring Arizona. The lake is among the nation’s largest manmade reservoirs with 2,000 miles of shoreline, hundreds of private beaches and 96 side canyons where you can drop anchor and bask in the majestic solitude.

Schlitz Park Poster

Milwaukee’s Beer Heritage Still Is Hopping Thanks to Wisconsin’s Germans and Their Culture

  By Mark Orwoll “Have you ever closed Wolski’s?” That’s not an uncommon question in this city. If your answer is yes, you’re considered a true Milwaukeean. Bumper stickers bearing the slogan “I closed Wolski’s” have been spotted not just in Milwaukee, but in the most unlikely places as a badge of honor, the emblem…


 Hotels in Hell. Diary of a Female War Correspondent

You won’t find these hotels in a guidebook of great getaways. Amenities are woeful. Rooms aren’t clean or relaxing. You’ll find no vacationing families or romantic couples in the bar or restaurant. But for Olivia Ward, a Toronto Star war correspondent assigned to cover authoritarian hell holes from the Balkans to Central Asia, five-star spa resorts simply were not available. She stayed in hotels of last resort. Here is her story: Arriving for a first visit in Iraq to cover Operation Desert Fox, a four-day bombing campaign in 1998, I was determined not to stay in the notorious Al Rasheed Hotel, origin of a thousand CNN soundbites beginning “as bombs fell over Baghdad … ”

“There are other hotels, ” said my driver as we sped into the city. “Nice hotel, the Sheraton. Better than Al Rasheed.” But inexplicably, his car pulled up at the Al Rasheed. And while I was still protesting, three middle-aged bellmen had a tug-of-war with my luggage, eventually trundling it to the reception desk.