Camping, with kids, in Hatteras, NC

There are ways to add excitement to a camping trip with kids. I choose three: Go to a campground I haven’t visited in 20 years in the blind hope that it hasn’t changed; don’t make reservations; and leave the house seven hours before sunset for a 6 1 / 2-hour road trip, declaring to anyone who’s [...]

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In Puerto Rico, the Kid’s are Alright

I see her as I step out from among the sea grape trees and onto the golden sands: tanned, blond and bikini-clad, she is walking toward me. And she possesses the one characteristic I’m yearning to see in a woman on the beach: a little kid. I’m in Rincon, on the west coast of Puerto Rico, [...]

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Rio de Janeiro: Brazil’s tourist magnet now has less to fear

By most accounts, I should be very afraid. I’m walking — alone — down a steep, winding passageway in one of Rio de Janeiro’s notorious slums, the Vidigal favela. If I extended my arms, winglike, I would touch, on both sides, homes made of mismatched cement, plywood, tin and tile. In the rare gaps between [...]

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In Sun Valley, Idaho, light crowds and glorious skiing

The hum at the Cornerstone Bar and Grill is reaching a fevered pitch. Bernie the bartender is sliding iridescent cocktails across the bar — a backlit slab of opaque plastic that gives both drink and drinker an added glow. I don’t even know what I ordered, but it’s green, contains gin and goes well with [...]

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Silverton: Skiing and snowboarding steeps and powder

My autumn daydreams, like those of any committed skier, settle on some variation of: abundant snow, radical terrain and enough onlookers to cheer my audacious feats but not so many that they poach my lines. Or, in geographic terms: Silverton Mountain, Colo. Spread over thousands of acres of former mining claims high in the San [...]

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Surfing BVIs: Tortola waves are big and plenty (shhh!)

Nobody goes on vacation to get beaten up by a fireman. So lissen up! If you’re looking for a place to surf, forget Tortola. Too inconsistent. Too rocky. Nothing to see here, folks. Head to Barbados, or Puerto Rico. Sure, people surf in Tortola, the largest and most populous of the British Virgin Islands. But [...]

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Pisco in Peru: Sipping by beach, rivers and mountains

Pisco-Sipping and Other Pleasures in The Land of the Incas Never refuse a free drink. A sound policy, but my commitment is wavering as a Peruvian Woody Allen look-alike (same physique, head shape and beady, bemused gaze) leads me around an oddly appointed brandy cellar, doling out shots of liquor from centuries-old clay casks. “Here,” [...]

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Old West Stays Vibrant

In the Arizona Desert, an Eccentric Town Moves Forward While Preserving its Colorful Past Students of that classic desert feud, Roadrunner vs. Wile E. Coyote, have long pondered where in the Wild West Coyote procured all the oddball products he used in schemes to ensnare the mercurial bird. A partial list: Batman outfit, earthquake pills, [...]

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Playing in the Parks

In Death Valley, only a true duffer finds water in the desert. Twice. At sea level, a golf ball struck squarely by an average player could travel about 220 yards by air and 25 more on the roll. In the thin air a mile above sea level, that same ball might fly 230 yards and [...]

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Back to Bali

Tourists Return After a Tough Year “You wait, okay?” A Balinese schoolgirl wearing a purple lace blouse approaches and touches my arm. “The ceremony starts.” Her three teenage friends giggle at her overtures to my friend Bill and me, but her timing is superb: After watching a scattered crowd of Hindus make ceremonial preparations at [...]

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