Amtrak bike service takes passengers from rails to trails

The Journal
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 16:14

Bicyclists from major cities between Washington, D.C. and Chicago who want to bike the C&O Canal towpath or Great Allegheny Passage can now take the rails to their preferred trails with Amtrak’s new roll-on bicycle service.

New England port lore: Whaling, pizza and a perfect storm

AP writer
Friday, 11 September 2015 08:35

New England’s ports are reinventing themselves to compete with one another and from larger ones, but they were once legendary. From one of the world’s great whaling ports to the Navy’s first submarine base and the city featured in “The Perfect Storm,” here is a look at their lore:

How do you find a mountain that disappears?
Tracking the elusive Denali

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 July 2015 08:29

Seeing Denali. — PHOTO: Michael Muckian

A mountain shouldn’t be able to disappear. Yet the Alaskan peak Denali, the highest mountain in North America, does so quite often, blinking into existence only for a lucky few visitors. You can’t plan for it. It’s simply an atmospheric game of chance.

Pop summer: coasters, pop culture rides and Orlando Eye

Written by TAMARA LUSH,
Associated Press writer
Friday, 22 May 2015 10:48

A dark, submarine-inspired thrill ride in California and swank new offerings at Downtown Disney all top the summer’s must-do list for theme park and amusement fans.

For those who want even more extreme summer adventures, a hybrid wood-steel coaster in Massachusetts and a spinning wing coaster based on Batman in Texas are also new for 2015.

American Queen offers luxurious Upper Mississippi cruises through October

Written by Craig T. Neises,
The Hawk Eye
Sunday, 27 September 2015 15:00

THE REAL MISSISSIPPI QUEEN: The American Queen offers luxury cruises on the Mississippi.

A trip from the Quad Cities to Burlington seldom is an all-night affair.

Experiencing the fickle beauty of Lake Superior

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:44

The early morning hours in Presque Isle Bay, just off Stockton Island in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, were characterized by a quietude the likes of which I had never before experienced. Floating in a sailboat on the pristine water, I knew I might never experience such serenity again.

The gentle waves undulated smoothly across the water’s surface in this pocket of Lake Superior, as if glass had been manufactured and kept in a cool, liquid form, flowing ceaselessly, effortlessly and peacefully in the dawn sunlight. The silence was absolute, save for the sound of a single loon in the distance that called once, and then was silent out respect for those still asleep on the various vessels floating in the bay.

Cycling Door County: Good for the heart — and soul

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 18 June 2015 10:09

There’s no better way to get a feel for the terrain of a place than by cycling it.

With generations of family ensconced in Sturgeon Bay and a lifetime of visits behind me, I thought I knew almost everything about Door County. But I came to learn that I’d never paid close enough attention to the hills.

New, now, hot in travel: Coloring books with a sense of place

Written by lisa neff Friday, 15 May 2015 06:15

COLORING BOOKS WITH A SENSE OF PLACE: Coloring books for grown-ups are all the rage as a way to reduce stress and rediscover the simple joy of carefully filling in the spaces between the lines. 

Now Little, Brown and Co. is launching a new series of coloring books with a sense of place. "Splendid Cities'' and "Secret Paris'' will be published June 9, with "Secret Tokyo'' and "Secret New York'' coming out in October. Each book is 96 pages and costs $16. 

Renovation modernizes South Dakota Corn Palace

Written by DIRK LAMMERS,
AP writer
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 21:43

The Corn Palace has been steeped in agricultural tradition since 1892, so when the caretakers of one of South Dakota’s most popular tourist attractions decided it was due for some maintenance, they also decided to gently nudge it into the 21st century.

Gone are the fiberglass green-and-yellow onion domes, replaced by airy steel versions. A new marquee, larger corn murals and a walk-out balcony have been added outside. And in perhaps the most modern touch of a $4 million renovation, the palace’s night face now features LED lighting that plays dramatically across the building.

Wisconsin Ducks celebrate 70 years

Written by Jay Rath,
Contributing writer
Friday, 03 July 2015 19:35

The Dells’ famous ducks were originally designed for amphibious transport in World War II, but now provide land-and-water tours during the summer.
— Photo: Original Wisconsin Ducks

The Wisconsin Dells’ best-known water attraction celebrates its 70th birthday this summer. Since its founding, the Original Wisconsin Ducks have taken more than 15 million visitors on tours of the Wisconsin River’s picturesque rock formations.

Rhythms of everyday life, touring old Havana

Written by BETH J. HARPAZ,
Monday, 08 June 2015 08:25

In some destinations, tourist areas are located far from the rhythms of everyday life. But visitors who wander through Old Havana — Habana Vieja, as locals call it — can't help but get a sense of how ordinary Cubans live.

Bewitched by the Big Easy: Tennessee Williams and New Orleans

Written by Anne Siegel,
Contributing writer
Friday, 24 April 2015 00:00

To walk around the French Quarter today, it is impossible to believe that New York literary types once sniffed that New Orleans was a “cultural swamp.”