Not many people realize that one of the founders of modern forestry in the United States was a Vanderbilt. The Biltmore Estate was cobbled together from George Vanderbilt’s land purchases in the Asheville area. Many were farms where the land was considered worn out. Fredrick Law Olmsted (design Central Park), who was hired to landscape the property, was not impressed with the 125,000 acres which were in a deplorable condition. Vanderbilt hired Gifford Pinchot to manage the forests on the estate, and he later became the first Chief of the United...

From September until the snow accumulates is the perfect time to visit Fairbanks, Alaska. The summer crowds have returned home, but you can still enjoy some of the warmer weather activities—and may even see the Aurora Borealis. Give yourself three full days to enjoy this itinerary, which gives you a good overview of the area. Upon arrival in Fairbanks, visit the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center to find information to explore Fairbanks and Alaska’s interior. It’s more than just a visitors’ center and more like a natural history museu...

“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain” can’t help but ring in your head as you traverse miles of the grain-rich farmland across country roads and state highways and over the rolling hills of the Palouse to reach the Lewis Clark Valley and the towns of Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Washington. At some points, depending on the time of year, all you can see in any direction are “amber waves of grain.” No matter which direction you travel from, there are no interstate highways that lead to your destination, which makes for a l...

Visionary chefs from around the Pacific Northwest will be converging on the City of Spokane Valley for the annual Crave! Food and Drink Celebration July 11 through 13, 2019. With all this culinary talent in the area, it makes the perfect time for a foodie trip. Spokane is building a reputation as a food lovers’ paradise, and it is an exciting time to experience it. From older family loved restaurants to new and innovative places, there is something to love for everyone.

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Whether you are coming from a short distance away—can you say staycation...

Summer is upon us, and it is time for that annual rite of passage—the summer vacation. It can be an expensive extravaganza or you can choose a more frugal option. Some of my best memories of family vacations are the ones that were the least expensive. With a little planning and creativity you can have a fun vacation that won’t break the bank.

Staycation. The staycation is the ultimate budget vacation, but you have to make some rules first to ensure it is a vacation. The rules are: Decide the length of the vacation, determine a budget, stick to i...

There is a scene at the end of the movie “A Walk in the Clouds” when a horrific fire destroys a family’s vineyards. All is not lost with the discovery of an old root which the family will use to reestablish the vineyards. For this wine tour of Mendocino County, the focus is on some of the original families, the roots of the wine industry in the area. These are the fourth and fifth generations of Italian immigrants, many growing grapes for more than 100 years. With names like Brutocao, Graziano, Parducci, Barra and Testa, their wines reflect thi...

Over the past few years my wife and I have come to really appreciate traveling in the month of September. With summer vacations over, kids going back to school and tolerable weather around most of the country, people aren’t necessarily putting travel high on their list during this month. Residing in the Northwest and being far from pale blue and bathtub warm ocean waters, we are happy to take a beach vacation any time of year. If you do head to the southern United States, Mexico or the Caribbean this time of year, you are always rolling the dic...

Vancouver’s North Shore is located just across Burrard Inlet from the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, making it a convenient base to explore all the area has to offer. Lodging is more reasonably priced on the North Shore, and with access to Vancouver’s public transportation, it is easy to get to wherever you want to go. The Holiday Inn North Vancouver looks like a chateau and is easily accessed from Highway 1 and is family friendly. For this trip, plan a day in Vancouver, a day on the Northshore and a day exploring the Sea to Sky Highway.

T...

You know you have stumbled upon a hidden gem when the guests, finding out you are a travel writer, ask you not to write about the location because they don’t want anyone else to discover this special experience. So shhh, don’t tell anyone about the Smuggler’s Villa Resort on Orcas Island; it will be our secret. You will want to visit sooner rather than later as rumors abound on the island about Oprah’s recent extensive real estate purchases on the island.

Mike Stolmeier has managed the property for almost 30 years and is also an owner. The resor...

Late fall is a wonderful time of the year to visit the Oregon Coast. The summer crowds are long gone and the area settles into a slower pace. Midway down the coast, Lincoln City makes a good centrally located base for all the seaside has to offer. When planning a getaway, it’s fun to design a trip around a theme. When visiting Lincoln City, it has to be the renowned Finders Keepers project and art glass.

Finders Keepers

Lincoln City’s Float Fairies are busy this time of year as they scurry to hide a super drop of the beautiful glass floats the to...

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