2014 readers choice results

Articles filed under Travel

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  • The sun peeks through the scaffolding around the Washington Monument at dawn in Washington. The National Park Service has announced they will reopen the earthquake-damaged structure May 12.

    Washington Monument to reopen May 12 after repairsMar 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    The National Park Service says the Washington Monument will reopen to visitors May 12 after being closed for nearly three years due to a 2011 earthquake. The park service says the remaining scaffolding around the monument is coming down this week.

     
  • Visitors stroll along a path near the Bunker Hill Monument, in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. The capital of Massachusetts is a vibrant modern city with a history that goes back centuries. Scattered throughout the downtown are buildings, churches and meetinghouses dating back to the American Revolution and earlier.

    5 free things to do in historic BostonMar 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    The city of Boston is known for its “wicked” rich history, to use a term the locals love, going back to the Boston Tea Party and roots of the American Revolution. But pride is not limited to the past: The city is also home to the World Series champion Red Sox team. Historic landmarks are scattered across the downtown from 17th-century churches and meetinghouses to some of the nation’s oldest schools. And taking in the sites won’t cost you a penny. Just remember that the cramped vintage streets are better tackled on foot than by car.

     
  • Try the beef loc lac at Simply Khmer, a Cambodian restaurant in Lowell, Mass. The classic Cambodian dish consists of seared beef that has been marinated and cooked in a savory sauce made with garlic, soy sauce, sugar and other ingredients.

    Lowell, Mass., offers up taste of Little CambodiaMar 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    Consider yourself warned: You’re going to need your GPS for this meal in Lowell, Mass. And a short history lesson. But it will be worth it. Start your visit at New Phnom Penh, an Asian grocer that can be a bit of a sensory overload. Then head to the Dessert Shop and Bakery, which seems to sell no desserts or baked goods, but sell Cambodian lunch items and addictive beef jerky made by the owner herself.

     
  • Visitors to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Fla., can see Atlantic bottlenose dolphins during the center's daily demonstrations. The center also offers hands-on training in the care of marine mammals for would-be professional caregivers and trainers.

    Creatures of the Keys: Fish, deer, 6-toed cats and moreMar 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    Activities for visitors to the Florida Keys range from snorkeling, boating and fishing to barhopping in Key West at sunset. But wherever your wanderings through the Keys might take you, chances are you'll encounter some of the islands' many creatures on land, in the sea or flying overhead.

     
  • A damaged New York Fire Department truck is part of the collection of artifacts for the National September 11 Museum. The long-awaited museum dedicated to the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks will open to the public at the World Trade Center site on May 21, officials announced Monday, March 24.

    NYC museum dedicated to 9/11 victims opens May 21Mar 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    A New York City museum dedicated to the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks will open to the public May 21. The opening will follow a May 15 ceremony and a six-day dedication period. Officials announced the dates Monday. During the dedication period, the museum at the World Trade Center site will be open around the clock for 9/11 family members and rescue and recovery workers.

     
  • Aurora residents Jackie Horvath and daughter Rachel pose in front of the Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle during the Princess Half Marathon last month at Walt Disney World in Florida.

    Is runDisney the happiest race on earth?Mar 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Die-hard Disney fans are also becoming runners thanks to the growing popularity of runDisney races at Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Calif., and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. That's precisely what happened to Aurora residents Jackie Horvath, and her daugher, Rachel, who have both run six runDisney races split between Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

     
  • A drawing captures the bloody 1864 clash in eastern Illinois that became known as the Charleston Riot.

    Tours, re-enactments mark 150th anniversary of Charleston RiotMar 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln, but during the Civil War support for the president and abolitionism was far from universal throughout the state. Illinois never saw any battles during the war, but it did see bloodshed. On March 28, 1864, in the city of Charleston, a rally of Democrats, many of whom were pro-Southern, clashed with Union soldiers who had returned home on leave. The Illinois State Historical Society is marking the 150th anniversary of the deadly riot with a variety of events.

     
  • Four Ohio State Park Lodges are offering “Unlimited Golf” packages to play as much as you want on some of the state’s most interesting and scenic courses.

    On the road: Ohio parks open for golf getawaysMar 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    Ohio State Park lodges are offering unlimited golf packages at four popular courses. Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation depicts the human body in various works at the University of Chicago campus.

     
  • Jeremy Hainsworth, right, and a guide hold a boa constrictor in the Amazon jungle in Brazil, about 100 miles from Manaus. Amazon guides will seek snakes and other creatures in the jungle to show to visitors on tours.

    Manaus, Brazil: Gateway to tours of the AmazonMar 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Amazon guide raised his hand in the steaming forest and looked at me at the end of a line of six hikers. “Do you want a machete, Jeremy?” said the guide, Shane Zammette. “Jaguars always attack from the rear.” I spent the next half-hour watching the jungle around me before maneuvering myself into the middle of the group. It was a moment that brought home the reality of the paradise around us.

     
  • Visitors to Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Ind., can view an interactive display in the pig barn.

    See big agriculture in action on Indiana farm tourMar 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    Farms around the nation have tried to capitalize on consumers' interest in how food is produced with tours. About 70 miles south of Chicago, Fair Oaks Farms in northern Indiana allows tourists to visit a high-tech dairy farm, tour a massive creamery where cheese and ice cream are made and see piglets being born on a hog farm. Fair Oaks, which includes 10 dairy farms with 37,000 cows and a 2,400-pig farm, draws as many as 500,000 visitors per year. Most visits start at the Dairy Adventure Center, where you can wander through a series of exhibits and see a short film on dairy farming before boarding a bus to a farm.

     
  • Especially on summer nights, people gather at Pack Square Park in Asheville, N.C., near the county courthouse, left, and City Hall on the right. The park is a popular place to stroll or hang out, with live music events on some summer Saturdays and an interactive water fountain.

    5 free things in artsy Asheville, N.C.Mar 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    This gem of a city tucked in the Blue Ridge foothills of western North Carolina, Asheville attracts artists, musicians, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts and a fair share of modern-day hippies, all lured by the beautiful setting and open-minded vibe.

     
  • Great Wolf Lodge is one of several area indoor waterparks that splash plenty of wet winter fun.

    Ways to warm up at Lake Erie Shores & IslandsMar 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    Maybe it's because we've had record breaking cold in Chicago this winter, but I'm ready to consider going anywhere that my family and I can have fun without freezing. Lake Erie Shores & Islands in Ohio, a little more than four hours from Chicago, has plenty of ways to warm up. Here are a few things I discovered we can do that would appeal to everyone in our family.

     
  • Karen Hellman, Assistant Curator Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, examines the new photo exhibit “In Focus: Ansel Adams.” The exhibit opens Tuesday.

    ‘Best of best’ of Ansel Adams’ photos on displayMar 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    During the last years of his life, Ansel Adams pored over the tens of thousands of negatives he’d carefully stored since his teens, setting aside 70 he determined would stand as his greatest works of art. Adams offered to personally print, sign and sell sets of 25 photographs from them — but with several strings attached. Among the few dozen who made the cut to buy the prints were the late Leonard and Marjorie Vernon, prominent Southern California collectors whose set was given to the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2011 and is now the centerpiece of “In Focus: Ansel Adams,” which opens Tuesday.

     
  • Offering fresh ceviche with a have-it-your-way vibe, at My Ceviche in South Beach, you can pick a portion size, and add fish, shrimp, octopus or a combination, and choose one of six ceviche styles to dress it.

    South Beach can deliver on hole-in-the-wall diningMar 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    South Beach simply doesn’t do subtle. But if you are willing to wander a few blocks from the beach — including some stretches that seem deserted — there is great grub to be found. It just requires some suspension of disbelief. That’s because both eateries — My Ceviche and La Sandwicherie — are quite literally holes in walls.

     
  • Those interested in the life of St. Patrick can visit a statue of him in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. The stained glass window depicts the life of the fifth-century saint who brought Christianity to Ireland.

    Not just St. Patrick: Ireland is home to many saintsMar 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    St. Patrick may have banished snakes and brought Christianity to Ireland, but perhaps his greatest feat was one of sheer endurance. After all, there were hundreds of other future saints roaming Ireland at the time, but Patrick is the one who gets the party. On March 17, Guinness will flow from Malin to Moscow, the Chicago River will run green and parades will be held worldwide to celebrate the fifth-century preacher and patron saint of Ireland. But, there are hundreds of holy wells, sacred round towers and monastic remains all over Ireland founded by other saints, too.

     
  • The Olive Press in Napa, Calif., offers a tour of its mill in Sonoma plus a sampling of olive oil flavors in its tasting room.

    In California wine country, an olive oil trailMar 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Come to California wine country to taste the ... olive oil? Yes, there’s liquid gold hidden among the vines, part of an olive oil boom in recent years. You can tour an orchard, learn what extra-virgin olive oil really means and taste your way through lemon-, herb- and even chocolate-infused olive oils. Harvest is usually around the end of the year, but any time is good for a visit. Here are five recommended “pit” stops.

     
  • Sip spring brews at the Chicago Beer Festival, held at the historic Union Station on Saturday, March 22.

    On the road: Raise a glass at Chicago Beer FestMar 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Winter is almost over and it’s time to celebrate with brewskies at the biannual Chicago Beer Festival, held at the historic Union Station. Sip beer from more than 60 breweries and 200 beers, including local and international brews plus lots of seasonals. The family-friendly Northwest Celtic Fest at Sears Centre promises a saturation of Celtic culture with live music, food, children’s games, a pipe music invitational plus beer and scotch tasting on Saturday, March 22.

     
  • A Samurai suit of armor is on display at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The museum is hosting the exhibit “Samurai: Armor From the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection,” which features more than 140 works.

    Samurai collection spawns museum, touring exhibitMar 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Gabriel Barbier-Mueller bought his first samurai armor about 20 years ago from an antiques dealer in Paris, sparking a fascination that helped him create one of the most significant private collections in the world related to the Japanese warriors. Part of the collection — now numbering in the hundreds — is on an international tour that opened recently at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

     
  • Children play in a park near the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Ala. The church is among the free attractions in Mobile.

    Mobile, Ala.: 5 free things for visitorsMar 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Mobile is that “other” city on the northern Gulf Coast, the one that sometimes gets lost between the beaches of the Florida Panhandle and the nonstop party of New Orleans. Local promoters call it “secretly awesome.” With a quaint downtown that’s situated on Mobile Bay and framed by huge oak trees with gnarly branches, Mobile and the surrounding area offer visitors a variety of free activities.

     
  • A group of students from Japan visiting Elk Grove High School gather by the school sign with Elk Grove teacher and Japanese program coordinator Cliff Darnall.

    Japanese students visiting Elk Grove High SchoolMar 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    Elk Grove High School is hosting 11 visitors from its Japanese sister schools, Ashikodai High School and Ashitandai High School. They arrived March 7 as part of the 26th annual Japanese Exchange Program and are leaving Friday, March 21. “I never expected the program to affect me this much,” said Elk Grove High School senior Rhenee Pass, who is hosting for the fourth time.

     
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