Travel blog

Is There a Real Southfork Ranch?

Glamorous magnets for drama, the impossibly wealthy Ewing family dominated television from the late 1970s through the early 1990s on the primetime tv series Dallas. Their constant scheming, backstabbing, cheating, and deception gripped viewers—350 million people around the world tuned in on November 21, 1980, to find out who shot J.R.—and one of the most popular characters was the opulent setting itself.

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Topics: Americas, History

36 Facts About Hawaii

There are countless interesting facts about Hawaii. Because the islands are thousands of miles away from their nearest neighbor, the environment and culture developed and adapted in fascinating and unique ways. The intriguing stories and facts about Hawaii’s human and natural history could fill a book, but there are plenty of amusing facts about Hawaii, too.

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Topics: Hawaii, History

The White Dove of the Desert: Mission San Xavier del Bac

On the stunning façade above the ornate door of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a stone-carved cat, its sharpest details rounded down by years of wind and desert rain, crouches, ready to attack the mouse on the other side of the grand entryway. Legend says that when the cat finally eats, the world will end.

Nicknamed the “White Dove of the Desert” and listed as a National Historic Landmark, the mission is still an active church. It has been abandoned, survived an earthquake, and most impressively withstood both the ravages of the time and the encroachment of the modern world. It stands as a striking beacon in the Sonoran Desert, at what the Spaniards who built it considered the very edge of the known world.

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Topics: Americas, Balloon Fiesta, History

Coit Tower: The Best Views of San Francisco

While most may think first of the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf when they envision San Francisco, there are a number of other landmarks that make the colorful California city famous, including the strikingly white art deco Coit Tower.

This slender structure stands tall at the top of Telegraph Hill in northeast San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Coit Tower is an important part of the city's history and the view from the observation deck is one of San Francisco's best.

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Topics: Americas, History

Inside the Golden Nugget Las Vegas

The Golden Nugget is a staple of Downtown Las Vegas. Built in the 40s, it’s weathered all of Sin City’s ups and downs, witnessed its transformation from a seedy, sandy place for guests to jettison their morals, to its modern iteration as the family friendly entertainment capital of the world.

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Topics: Americas, History

Golden California: How the Gold Rush Began in Sutter's Mill

Sutter’s Mill sawmill is nestled in a peaceful valley in Coloma, California at the base of the Sierra foothills. Surrounded by ponderosa pines, on an average early morning in the late 1840s, all you’d hear would be the trilling of birds, the rush of the breeze, and the gentle roar of the American River winding its way through the property.

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Topics: Americas, History

10 Tips for Enjoying the French Concession--Shanghai's Most Charming Neighborhood

In a city of 20 million, there is always noise. The commotion never stops—the rumble of traffic, the familiar din of the metro line, the early morning staccato of jackhammers. But beyond the cacophony and bright lights there is another Shanghai—the Former French Concession.

When China lost the Opium Wars in 1842, it was forced to open itself to foreign trade, and to cede portions of its cities to colonial powers including the United States, Japan, and various European countries. Shanghai sacrificed much of its territory in a series of concessions where swaths of the city were leased, occupied and governed by these foreign governments. The occupying government’s citizens were given the right to freely inhabit, trade, and travel in these concessions—in some cases Chinese citizens were no longer welcome—making the areas effectively little slices of that foreign country, inserted in the middle of Chinese cities.

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Topics: Asia, History

A Trip for Every Mother

Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some express their love quietly, while others shout it out for everyone to hear. All of them love us, and on Mother’s Day, we get to remind them we love them right back. 

This Mother’s Day, why confine yourself to gifts of flowers and brunch? Show the mom in our life you really care by giving her the trip of a lifetime. Perhaps she’d like a romantic cruise for two, or maybe a land adventure. It all depends on what type of mom you have.

While we can’t say for sure which trip your mom would like best, we do know a little about what certain types of moms like. So, here’s a list of the most common moms we see on our tours, and the type of tours we most often see them on.

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Topics: Asia, Alaska, Americas, Europe, Hawaii, Rose Parade, US National Parks, Balloon Fiesta, River Cruises, History

The Rose Queen Turns 100: The Tournament of Roses History

It was 1905 when a dark-haired girl named Hallie Woods sat solemnly on top of a float adorned with roses. Surrounded by a group of her classmates, this serious-faced student from Pasadena High school made her way down Colorado Boulevard to the cheers of the city. It was the first time in history a Rose Queen would make the storied trip. Ms. Woods was selected as the first Queen of the Tournament of Roses from among 16 other contestants, all of whom rode alongside her on a horse-drawn wagon she decorated herself.

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Topics: Americas, Rose Parade, History

Exploring Cologne’s Cathedral and Other Must-See Sites

You may have to catch your breath a time or two as you climb the 509 steps to the dizzying heights of the Cologne Cathedral gallery. Housed in the 318-foot south tower, it is the highest church tower in the entire world, and once the tallest man made construction of any kind on the planet. 

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Topics: Europe, River Cruises, History

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