Travel blog

American Royalty: Exploring Hearst Castle




Hollywood royalty and the political elite of the 1920s and 1930s would arrive at Hearst Castle via the estate’s airstrip or aboard the private Hearst-owned railcar that regularly made the journey from Los Angeles to the estate in San Simeon, California. From Clark Gable to Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill to Charlie Chaplin, the privileged guests of William Randolph Hearst were uncharacteristically impressed by the 90,000 square foot estate informally called “the ranch.”




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Topics: Americas


The Painted Desert: 5 Things to Do in this Arizona Treasure




Our planet is a canvas upon which is painted the entire history of the earth. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, even the constant warming of the sun, combine to change and reshape the landscape. Nowhere is this more evident than in Arizona’s Painted Desert. These rocky badlands in the northern corner of Petrified Forest National Park are a work of art millions of years in the making. Across this vast area, a portion of which rests in the Navajo Nation, you’ll discover every hue colored across the rockface -- from deep purple to crimson red, shocking orange to pale shades of pink. Here are some of the things you can expect to enjoy on your travels to America’s Painted Desert:




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Topics: Americas, US National Parks


Cuba – It's not a country, it's a feeling




I don’t like to fly. However, if it means getting somewhere I really want to go, I will put up with my own misery for the end result. Going to Cuba was just such a destination. We left San Diego airport early morning July 1, the beginning of an unforgettable adventure.

Most of my friends and family had reacted the same way when I told them of our travel plans. Comments ranged from “How exciting!” and “That’s on my bucket list!” to “Why?”  Regardless of the viewpoint, the initial response was always one of surprise. I suppose it’s not a common destination, at least not for Americans. That may change soon.




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Topics: Americas, Cuba, Ambassador Adventures


Dining in Mazatlan: 8 Things You Simply Must Eat




Founded in the 16th century by an army of Spaniards and indigenous settlers, Mazatlan, Mexico grew to become a thriving seaport when German immigrants arrived some three centuries later. The mixture of native and European cultures makes this area unique. While many of the cultural and culinary flavors are similar to what you’ll find in other parts of Mexico, there’s much you won’t see elsewhere. For example, the local drink made famous by the Pacifico brewery is a holdover from the beer culture of the Germans, as is the “banda” sound, which has its origins in Bavarian folk music.

When your travels take you to Mazatlan, here are the local dishes you simply must eat:




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Topics: Americas, Rose Parade


Life in Montezuma’s Castle: What Home Looked Like a Millenia Ago




What will your house look like in 100 years? Better yet, what about in 800 years? If future generations were to stumble across your home, what lessons would they learn about life in 2015 from what you leave behind?




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Topics: Americas


Vacationing in Paradise: Top 10 Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii



Kona Hawaii

Kailua-Kona stretches out along a lava-lined coast of Hawaii Island’s western shore. Along this expanse of paradise you’ll find coffee farms and historic sites, postcard worthy beaches and natural wonders that include an active volcano. Visitors to the heart of the Big Island will have their pick of activities and outdoor pursuits, but to get you started in the right direction, we offer these top 10 things to do in Kona:




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Topics: Americas, Hawaii


The Queen of El Camino Real: The Santa Barbara Mission




At regular intervals along the southern half of one of the busiest highways in California you’ll see a daisy chain of historic markers topped with rustic bells. These humble guideposts along US Highway 101 are a reminder of the legacy left by a band of Franciscan monks who once trod this historic route.




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Topics: Americas


Being President




Every year, YMT Vacations offers travelers a chance to venture into the world with our President, Jerre Fuqua. Not only is Jerre a very knowledgeable man, a great storyteller and a lover of people -- he’s also a lifelong traveler. While work and everyday obligations often keep him in the office, he relishes the chance to pack his bags and head out into the world. It doesn’t really matter where -- Europe, China, even the back roads of our country. Because according to Jerre, every village, every monument, every person has a story worth discovering.




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Topics: Americas, Planning a Vacation, Rose Parade


The Petrified Forest in Pictures: Photography Tips for the Southwest




From blue mesas to the Crystal Forest, steep ravines to multicolored canyons, Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is a unique environment that provides limitless options for photographers. Beneath a desert sun, otherworldly shapes and patterns play across the landscape and a rainbow of hues paint the rock face.

Here are our tips for capturing the incredible images and intense colors of this picturesque corner of the American Southwest:




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Topics: Americas, US National Parks


Wet ‘n Wild: Hawaii’s Top Water Activities




 

So you’ve got a glorious day ahead of you on the beaches of Oahu. Whatever will you do in all that sun and sand? Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking to spend a leisurely afternoon on the water, here are the top ten water activities in the Aloha State:




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Topics: Americas, Hawaii