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The RIGHT Way to Do Denali National Park (Get OFF The Darn Bus!)

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/21/2013, 8:30 AM

In 1917, when Denali National Park in Alaska was created, just 7 hardy souls managed to make the grueling, long, roadless trek to see the wonders of the new park. Today, thanks to a highway and popular railroad, Denali is deluged with some 400,000 visitors each year, the majority in the months of June, July and August. But I would be surprised if more than 3 visitors, or even 3 park rangers...

The Elimination of Room Service, Top Sheets, and More: Worrisome Changes Coming to a Hotel Near You

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/20/2013, 8:30 AM

Those over the age of 45 will remember when flying was a glamorous, or at least an amenity-laden activity. Attractive flight attendants would flit up and down the aisles, delivering meals, snacks, pillows and blankets, with nary a thought of charging the passenger extra for these, well, extras. Those days are long gone, of course, and thanks to recent developments in the hotel industry it loo...

Getting Crafty in North Carolina: Meet the John C. Campbell Folk School

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/18/2013, 7:00 PM

The day began with Whisky for Breakfast. Which made sense, since we were in North Carolina. But this wasn’t a meeting of the “Moonshine Society.” Instead, a fiddler and a banjo player were jumpstarting the morning with a before-breakfast concert-- which included that classic Appalachian jig—at the famed John C. Campbell Folkschool (www.folkschool.org), of Brasstown. Later in the day, I studie...

Drop That Knock-Off Purse! People Who Buy Counterfeit Goods in New York City May Now Face Stiff Fines

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/16/2013, 10:00 PM

Just yesterday I was walking through New York's Chinatown, on my way to review a dim sum joint for my new guidebook, when a short woman slung with several purses sidles up to me. "Want to buy?" she asked in a low voice. "This real thing. Louis Vuitton. Chanel. Prada. We got it all." I said 'no thanks', and kept on walking. But I noticed that she did manage to nab a tourist near me, and soon t...

My Knee-Jerk (Ouch!) Reaction to American Airlines' Plans to Add Even More Seats to Its Planes

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/13/2013, 10:30 PM

My knees are aching just writing this. And my laptop's cover is quivering in fear. But here goes: In a regulatory filing yesterday, AMR Corp disclosed its plans to add more seats to some of its planes, according to the Associated Press. An airline spokesperson said the seats would be added on 737's and MD-80 jets, but declined to say just what the new configurations would be like. But unle...

Thinking About a Dude Ranch Vacation This Summer? Tips from an Expert

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/13/2013, 10:45 AM

The horse may just replace the racecar, space ship and James Bond-helmed motorboat as the whiz-bang mode of transportation this summer. I make that prediction after watching the trailers for the new, Johnny Depp-helmed (he’s Tonto) version of The Lone Ranger that will be hitting movie theaters this July and seems destined for blockbuster status. Every single preview features racing stallions, t...

Another Opening, Another Summer Stock Show: The Best Theater This Coming Season in North America

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/13/2013, 10:45 AM

Sure there’s sun and sand. But one of the unsung delights of summer---or should I say one of the most loudly crooned pleasures of the season---is summer stock. There’s something magical about heading out on a warm evening, entering a theater filled with other tanned and relaxed folks, and giving yourself up to a classical musical or play. And nowadays, summers have become a time not just for re...

Plan Ahead or Do It On the Spot: The Conundrum of Modern Vacations

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/05/2013, 11:30 AM

United Airlines caused a stir two days ago when it announced that travelers could now “subscribe” to its fees. Pay one lump sum in advance—$349, so that’s one big lump sum actually!—and you’ll be able to carry on your luggage “free” for the next year. Oh, wait, no, that amount was just for one bag checked. If you need to check two bags, the fee goes up to $399. To guarantee a seat in “economy ...

Italian State-Run Museums Now Free to Everyone Under the Age of 18

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/04/2013, 10:00 PM

My thanks to Frommer's author Donald Strachan (who's currently hard at work on a new Frommer's guidebook) for spotting this one. Until now, non-European Union teens and children had to pay entrance fees at state-run museums. That changed on May 28th with a ministerial decree that these museums would now be open to all young people, no matter their nationality. Bravo! Of course, not all the ...

Time to Rethink Tropical Travel Plans for Summer? Federal Forecasters Issue Their Hurricane Predictions

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/23/2013, 6:30 PM

"This is your warning," said Kathryn Sullivan, administrator of the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And what a warning it is: today, the NOAA is prediced 13-20 named Atlantic Storms for the upcoming months. It's saying that 7 to 11 of those could become hurricanes, with 3 to 6 of those reaching 111 mph and higher (which are the worst categories of hurricanes). How sure ar...

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