Travel

Memphis enlivens old dead spots for a mega-makeover

I woke at 8:30 one Friday morning in a pitch-black hotel room, slipped on a robe, pulled back the curtains between me and my balcony and stepped out for a stunning Memphis view: hundreds of people ambling through the aisles of a Bass Pro Shops store.

Travel

On 60th anniversary, 60 things you might not know about Disneyland

Much of Disneyland is built to scale to create the illusion of a full-scale experience. The trains circling the park and the Mark Twain Riverboat are built to five-eighth scale. Sleeping Beauty Castle and the storefronts on Main Street, U.S.A., use forced perspective to make the buildings appear taller.

Travel

10 super stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway most motorists overlook

Jason Frye, a Wilmington, N.C.-based travel writer, zeroes in on the Southeast. His third guidebook, "Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip," was published in May (Moon/Avalon Travel, $19.99), with four more books for Moon lined up for 2016. Two will be about the Carolinas, one about Asheville and the fourth about Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Travel

Vancouver: 5 places off the beaten track

Stanley Park. Granville Island. If you've been to Vancouver, British Columbia, you've probably been to those two top spots. But the park's lovely Seawall walk and the farmers market can be jammed with tourists and locals on summer weekends.

Travel

US studios facing EU antitrust probe

A British vacationer on a French holiday may have visions of watching his favorite soccer team or the latest episode of "Game of Thrones" on an iPad from the sun-drenched beaches of Nice.

Travel

St. Augustine is feeling a lot younger than 450

For the oldest town in America, St. Augustine has sure come a long way in recent years. The town of 14,000 on Florida's northern Atlantic coast celebrates its 450th birthday in late summer, but locals mostly have been rejoicing over the town's cultural growth.

Travel

Portland: Top places off the beaten track

Unless you moved to Seattle like last week, you've probably taken a few weekend getaways to Portland. Portland, the weird. Portland of "Portlandia" fame, so hilariously politically correct that locavores need to know the name of the chicken they're eating. Portland, deliciously marinated in craft beer.

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Interactive Vietnam exhibit helps veterans reflect, heal

“The Vietnam Experience,” a 3-acre outdoor, interactive exhibit at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum near Charleston, opened late last year to coincide with this year’s 50th anniversary marking the start of the Vietnam War. It was created to help honor those who served, but those behind the exhibit are discovering it is also helping some of them heal.

Travel

Easy Escapes | Wild West awaits in Love Valley

Growing up as a kid watching cowboys become heroes on television, we’ve all had imaginings of what it would be like to ride into town from the trail, hitch our horse to the post, saunter through the swinging doors of the saloon and commune with other characters of the Wild West.

Travel

Enjoy a camping adventure in eastern South Carolina

With gardens full of new flowers, it might be a good time for even more outdoor adventure: a camping trip or three. You might be surprised to know that without leaving eastern South Carolina, you can go exploring from mountaintop to seaside. The entire eastern side of South Carolina used to be the ocean floor, and as the sea receded, it left a lot of sand behind … even actual mountains of sand.

Travel

Take a few tips for planning Rome getaway

Looking for a quick getaway before summer? Rome is one of my favorite spring escapes. All of the wonderful sights, flowers and trees are just beginning to bud as if the ancient town is awakening from a winter slumber.

Travel

Easy Escapes | Enjoy the gems of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley

The section of southeastern West Virginia known as Greenbrier Valley has the strong and lovely Allegheny Mountains and Greenbrier River to thank for its wholesome genes. The gifts of nature are abundant here and call to all who love the outdoors. With the same breath, this area, occupied since before the Revolutionary War, has nurtured a lifestyle and culture that fits perfectly into the landscape around it.

Entertainment

N.C., Jacksonville zoos worthy spring break destinations

Anyone planning family spring break road trips has two humongous zoos — one north and one south — that merit a stop for at least a half-day on their way to a destination. Heading to Walt Disney World or other points in Orlando, Fla.? Swing by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, right off Interstate 95 and full of large big-cat displays, especally tigers, up close, through glass. Heading north into or through central North Carolina? The N.C. Zoological Park, near Asheboro, south of Greensboro and off I-73/74, is an expanse that will take your breath away for a whole day.

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