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A Growing Arts Scene in Lancaster

May 28th, 2010

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is justifiably famous for its picturesque countryside, its Amish farms, its Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and more. But this quaint—yet growing—small city is turning into a thriving arts center, which is drawing both tourists and new residents alike who want to be part of the scene. On a recent trip to Lancaster, which coincided with the American Quilt Society’s national quilt show (held in the recently unveiled Lancaster County Convention Center, attached to the new Lancaster Marriott), I took the opportunity to stroll along Lancaster’s aptly named Gallery Row.... Read More

The Garden as Work of Art

November 11th, 2009

“Respect the site; do not impose your will on it.” –From The Winterthur Garden: Henry Francis du Pont\’s Romance with the Land, by Denise Magnani Visit the Winterthur Garden in the heart of the picturesque Brandywine Valley and the artistic vision of its creator cannot fail to impress—and inspire. Scion of Delaware\’s industrialist du Pont family, Henry Francis du Pont enjoyed a lifelong passion for horticulture and the principles of garden design, reflected throughout the 60-acre garden, with its year-round succession of blooms that enhance the natural setting of the family\’s... Read More

National Harbor Showcases Nation\’s Capital

October 13th, 2009

New York has its South Street Seaport. Baltimore has its Inner Harbor. Philadelphia its Penn\’s Landing. San Francisco its Ghirardelli Square. And now the nation\’s capital region has its own waterfront destination, the National Harbor. I loved it on my first trip there and you will too. Billed as a “lifestyle destination,” the National Harbor (actually located in National Harbor, Maryland, not the District of Columbia, per se) is a well-thought-out blend of hotels, restaurants, shopping, office space, a convention center, and upscale residences. Its prime location on the scenic... Read More

Life is Sweet in Hershey

September 14th, 2009

It should come as no surprise that a family vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania, will meet with an enthusiastic thumbs up from the entire clan. What you may not realize is that you can have a fantastic time sans kids as well, as I did on a recent girlfriend getaway to the home of the chocolate bar. My former college roommate and I were sorely in need of a little R&R. A stressful couple of years involving injuries and illnesses for both of us had left us a bit worn out. Our “prize,” we promised ourselves, would be a few days of pampering when we were both completely back on our feet. That... Read More

Wandering Maryland’s Eastern Shore

August 14th, 2009

Whether you’re attending the springtime Food and Wine Festival, the annual “Christmas in St. Michaels” celebration, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Maryland’s Eastern Shore is a year-round picture-postcard destination. The pocket-sized Chesapeake Bay village of St. Michaels makes a good home base for your visit, with its abundance of unique accommodations, restaurants, shops, attractions, and proximity to towns like Easton and Oxford, well worth a day trip—or even overnight stay–themselves. On my most recent visit to St. Michaels, I tried something different in terms... Read More

From the Traveler?s Bookshelf

December 11th, 2007

“Stylish, brutally frank, and sometimes, frankly brutal.” That\’s how LUXE City Guides describes their accordion-pleated travel guides that are just the right size to pop into a pocket or purse. LUXE City Guides, headquartered in Hong Kong, first came out in 2002 with a series on-not surprisingly, Asian cities. Now there are 19 in the series featuring such tourist-friendly locations as Hong Kong, Melbourne, Phuket, Shanghai, Sydney, and most recently Istanbul, Madrid, and Paris. The recommendations for each city guide are gathered from 25 residents of that particular city, and... Read More

Chocolat a Paris

November 15th, 2007

Ah, Paris! Strolling along the Seine, window shopping on Avenue Montaigne, gazing at the Mona Lisa.. Sure, you can do all those things (and at some point, you should!). Moi, however? Well, on my most recent visit, I had another goal in mind….sample as many of Paris\’ legendary chocolate and pastry shops as I could (without making myself sick, or a candidate for the South Beach diet when I returned)! I know…it was a tough assignment, but hey, I was up to the challenge. And it was all in the name of research, wasn\’t it? Not to mention, with all the news out now about the... Read More

What?s Hot Across the Pond?

October 15th, 2007

Stroll through the many home interior shops in Europe and one thing will become readily apparent. Eclecticism is the design trend of the day. “There is really no ‘look\’ in Europe,” says Olivier Cardon, CEO, Roche-Bobois US. “Just the opposite.” Visit a European home and you may see a contemporary sofa, for example, paired with the bergere your friend inherited from her grandmother or a lamp picked up at a weekend flea market. “Reinventing the past” is how Belgian-headquartered Flamant Home Interiors describes their design concept. Minimalism... Read More

The Enchanting Emerald Isle

September 14th, 2007

If you\’re short a few friends in your life, all you have to do is cross the Atlantic, arrive in Ireland, and within days-if not hours!-you will be embraced (literally as well as figuratively) by the friendliest people in the world. Before I left for a two-week trip to Ireland this fall (my first), my father, who has made three trips there, said, “The friendliest people I\’ve ever met are the Irish.” When I stopped in the camera store to buy film, the manager said, “Oh, you\’re going to Ireland…my family\’s from Galway…they\’d just love... Read More

Bonjour Quebec!

August 7th, 2007

For a vacation with European flair, without having to spend the time or the money to fly over an ocean to get there, you\’d do well to point yourself north and head to the charming Canadian destination of Quebec City. This unique walled city on the St. Lawrence River combines a scenic location, architectural beauty, gourmet dining, fashionable shopping, year-round activities, and-here\’s an added bonus-the exchange rate won\’t put a dent in your wallet! You\’ve gotta love a city that doesn\’t hunker down and hibernate when the weather turns frosty-actually, that\’s... Read More