This week’s Photo Friday theme is bridges, so we take you to Madison County, Iowa, which has the titular covered bridges of the popular book and movie.
Roseman Covered Bridge, Madison County, Iowa

This is the latest in a series of travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. The theme of this week’s Photo Friday is BRIDGES. My in-laws live in Atlantic, Iowa, a town of 7,500 an hour east of Omaha. I’ve visited several times, first for my husband’s high school reunion and last year to celebrate my mother and father-in-law’s […]


Florida’s Harry Potter theme Park, Universal Orlando Resort’s Wizarding World, isn’t just for kids. Read how the park casts its spell over four adult Muggles.
Entrance to Harry Potter theme park

By Natalie Pompilio, Contributing Writer When my sister and I were making our plans to visit the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando Resort (the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) in Florida, the question we got most frequently was, “How many kids are in your party?” To which we answered, “None.” Because we grown-ups […]


All 50 States: I made it!

by Chris on August 15, 2011

In mid-2011, I hit one of my major life goals when I managed to make it to all 50 States. A look at what inspired me.
all 50 States

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was “Our Fifty States,” a photo atlas of the U.S. from National Geographic. Published in 1978 (check out that fab Bicentennial-era cover), the book featured photography, factoids and maps of all of the states. I used to pore over it, checking out the national parks […]


Portlandia: Powell’s City of Books

by Chris on June 21, 2011

A visit to Portland has to include a stop at Powell’s book store. Here’s why.
Powell Book Store Portland

Where: Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, OR. 503-228-4651 Claim to fame: A bibliophile’s wet dream, Powell’s City of Books is one of the country’s most celebrated bookstores, for good reason. It’s a block long. It has color coded room based on topics and interests. It allows new and gently used books to co-mingle, […]


Book Giveaway: Win a coffee table version of John Muir’s classic, My First Summer in the Sierra.
Book Giveaway: John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra

  It’s time for another book giveaway! This time, I have a gorgeous coffee table version of naturalist John Muir’s classic, My First Summer in the Sierra. It’s put out by the Yosemite Conservancy and features photos from Dallas-based photographer Scot Miller. It’s the perfect book to add to any nature-lovers’ library. Here’s how to […]


Book giveaway: 100 Greatest Trips by Travel + Leisure.
100 Greatest Trips Giveaway

The dark days of a February winter are the perfect time to start planning your big 2011 trip. And for inspiration, you can’t do better than the 100 Greatest Trips coffee table book just put out by Travel + Leisure. The 288-page book features photos from some of the best travel photographers out there and […]

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Do you still carry a guidebook when you travel? Increasingly, I’m relying on destination smartphone apps for on-the-ground guidance.
Philly Essential Guide iPhone app

My trip planning routine has changed in the past few years. I’ve always done the bulk of my research online ahead of time, then bought a country or city-specific guidebook to carry with me on the ground. But now I find that I’m often skipping the bulky Lonely Planet or Moon Guide in favor of […]


Thoughts on Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love: Is travel really a courageous act when your natural defense mechanism seems to be running away?
Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts, Italy

I finally saw Eat Pray Love, the travel it-movie of the year based on the best-selling memoir from Elizabeth Gilbert, last weekend. For the few people out there who aren’t familiar with the plot, Gilbert spends a year recovering from a failed marriage and relationship by eating pasta in Italy, meditating at an ashram in […]


Travel book round-up: Escapist reading

by Chris on February 10, 2010

Reviews of two travel books: Frommer’s 500 Extraordinary Islands and Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Escapes
Travel books

Right now, the winds are swirling and snow is flying outside my Alexandria home. It looks like it’s going to be a full-fledged blizzard out there today, and my muscles are already anticipating the shoveling that will have to be done tomorrow. With that in mind, I’m going to spend part of the day going […]


Book review of “Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: the True Story of a Great American Road Trip” by Matthew Algeo.
Harry Truman

The following is a guest post by Edward Gray, who read and reviewed the book “Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip” by Matthew Algeo. In it, Algeo tries to trace the path that Truman and his wife Bess followed during a 1953 road trip after his presidency ended. […]