Celebrity Equinox evening illumination
Article
Plan a Multi-Generational Cruise Vacation With Celebrity

Cruise vacations are noted for luxury, convenience, varied activities and distinctive ports of call.  Could a cruise be the answer to your 21st century multi-generational group’s dilemma of “what should we do this year?” Maybe as you read this, you are shaking your head in doubt: the cost, the extras, the food, and gratuities. However, when you look at the actual costs, they will be less...

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The classic Brenners Park-Hotel is on a quiet street in the old town of Baden-Baden.
Article
Feeling Good-Good in Baden-Baden

Wellness has been a given since Napoleon III made Baden-Baden a trending destination in the mid-1800s, and Europe’s royalty, celebrities and politicians followed. What the tourism office smartly calls the “the good-good life” today is available to visitors of all ages as budget allows. Fresh air and abundant gardens, thermal spas and regal architecture, organic cuisine served in typical...

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Article
Aw Shucks! Autumn Adventures In A Major Corn Maze

We think visiting a farm -- one with a huge corn maze the kids can puzzle on -- is a great autumn family getaway and, according to the directory at Corn Mazes America, there are approximately 800 to choose from in the U.S. this season. If you can also pick apples, sit on a hay bale, buy some local produce, and bring home a big pumpkin at half the price it sells for in your home town, it's a value getaway...

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Article
Coping With Gluten Free, Food Allergies And Special Diets At Theme Parks

Today, theme park restaurants are offering gluten-free, vegetarian, and food allergy sensitive menu choices for those with special diets, as well as anyone watching their weight. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that 39.8% of American adults and 18.5% of American children were obese. Since more than 335 million Americans visit a theme park annually, it's great to know the standard...

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Guests at the Cityscape Lounge on the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Article
San Francisco, California Hotels

With so many lodging options and a plethora of unattended rentals, choosing the right hotel -- with a good staff and a convenient neighborhood -- can make your visit to San Francisco, California less stressful. This great walking city full of hills will tire everyone out, so prioritize your attractions, choose...

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FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship logo by FamilyTravelForum.com
Article
Family Travel Forum Announces Winners of 2018 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

(New York, NY – September 18, 2018) Family Travel Forum (FTF) and its travel industry partners congratulate the winners of the 2018 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship. Completing its 12th year, this annual merit scholarship has been hosted by the award-winning vacation guide publisher to promote teen literacy and reward teens’ best travel blogs with cash prizes for college or future travels. Between...

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apples
Article
Washington Apple Farms – U-Pick ‘Em And Enjoy

The late summer and early fall is apple picking time at the u-pick apple farms and pumpkin patches surrounding the city of Seattle. Did you know that Washington State is the country's Apple Capital? It's true, the state produces over a hundred million bushels of apples annually and, of course, is well known for its cherries as well. The best...

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Feathered Pipe, Montana
Article
Yoga Tourism: The Mind Body Vacation

In this stressful age, the subject of yoga retreats as "vacation" comes up often. Travelers may ask, are they a good option for a parent-child or three generation getaway? The answer is yes, if all participants are interested in connecting over the same activities. Family members should also share an appreciation for the contemplative aspects of yoga, like meditation, numerology (

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Article
Berlin, Germany Attractions

As one of Europe's hottest cities, Berlin, Germany is teeming with the latest shops, restaurants, galleries, clubs and boutique hotels. But it's also a city with a rich history and a lively art center, where monuments, government buildings, classic museums and creative venues have been designed for foreign visitors, locals and the next generation. Read on for what's best with kids, and for further...

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Adaptive skiing class
Article
Special Needs Destinations And Programs For Travelers

There are many special needs travel options, both to snow and sand vacation resorts, that offer fun for the whole family, including those with physical or mental disabilities or special dietary needs. In order to assist those interested in disability travel, we have compiled a list of destinations and travel resources that focus on leaving home with companions who...

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Student Article
International Mafia

We sat around a table in the lobby of the “President” hotel, 20 accented voices in chorus arguing about the proper way to play the card game “mafia”. Argentina asserted it was played with two people adopting the role of guardian. Estonia refuted this, claiming that only one person was chosen as guardian but three people got to be the “mafia”. Meanwhile, Brazil confusedly turned in her seat...

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Student Article
Niagara: A Trancendental Experience

Awe. The sense of being in the presence of forces far beyond our comprehension and control. The sudden clarity of knowing that no matter how powerful we become, there are some things in this world that will forever dwarf us, that will continue existing long after our own brief lives have been exhausted. It’s a hefty dose of amazement, spiked with a good deal of fear and respect, all churned together...

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Student Article
Precipice of the Unknown

Crack! The sound of thunder brought me to my senses, standing at the peak of the second highest mountain in the northeast. Cadillac Mountain was shrouded by heavy white clouds, illuminated only by the trickle of afternoon sunlight and the promise of rain. The slim outline of my father was obscured by thick fog. I stood alone. It was an afternoon in early August that brought my family hiking. Every...

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Student Article
The Joys of Bar-Hopping in Valladolid, Spain

When I reflect on my adventures in Spain, and on subsequent conversations with friends who have also been fortunate enough to make the trip, I find that the first words in recounting our respective experiences are often the most telling. References to time spent on the beach, in the Prado, and in Madrid’s shopping district (which, I’m told, looks eerily like that of New York–who knew there were...

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Student Article
Lost

I couldn’t see the ground in front of me, much less my two hands grasping at the path ahead. The sky was dark, filled with thin clouds blotching the moons helpful rays. As I hiked up the cliff, I stopped and groaned to myself to see another several hundred yards of a steep, uphill climb. Finally, the rocky, ankle breaking trail ended to a clearing high up atop Urraca Mesa. I sat down along the edge,...

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Student Article
The Moment I Was Aware of A Cruel World

I tend to confuse myself and others. I am an extreme pessimist, I expect the worst. Yet I have an upbeat attitude, and have the willingness to hope for things. I think global warming will depleat the planet, and corrupt politicians will hurt others, but I have a hope that humans will do what they believe is the right thing to do, and people will stop ignoring the signs of a dying planet. I have...

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Student Article
Fueled by Fire: Remembering the Spark that Started it All

At the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains, a dull cluster of houses, mud-yellow fields, and indoor shopping centers make up my mother’s new home away from home. A year ago, she reluctantly abandoned the cosmopolitan jewel of San Diego for the monotonous asphalt city of Colorado Springs, the result of a hapless business contract that took her from her family and left her with nothing but an air mattress...

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Student Article
Grandmother and Granddaughter Bond over Roman Infrastructure (Literally!)

"50 YEARS OF ADVENTURES" advertised the world map in my grandparents' family room. It was covered with colorful pins stuck in exotic places that some may never have even heard of. My grandparents were world travelers, and I wanted in on their experiences. After having been waiting for ages, my wish came true on my fifteenth birthday. My grandma gave me a card which detailed that she'd take me to...

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Article
Chicago, Illinois Attractions

With museums, theatre and outdoor fun galore, Chicago is a happening destination for family travelers of all ages. You can plan a visit at any time of year -- it's never too windy in our book. So even if the Obamas showed you all of their favorite Chicago haunts, read on and you may learn about a few more attractions from us. (FTF may receive an affiliate commission through some  links in this story.) ...

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Article
The Top Disney World Deluxe Resorts

Wondering which of the deluxe Walt Disney World properties is worth the big bucks? It largely depends on style and location; some are built around the Magic Kingdom, some are adjacent to the other theme parks. While the Magic Kingdom resorts are easily serviced by monorail, we urge families to pick the resort closest to their favorite park to minimize the walk/ride time. What Disney World luxury...

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The Seajazz Festival is one of Aruba's biggest musical events.
Article
Fall Festivals Heat Up The Caribbean

Put on your dancing shoes to get your groove on, because the Caribbean’s biggest cultural music festivals are heating up during the Fall season between the months of September and November. From Aruba to the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Dominica or Jamaica to Mexico and all across the islands, prepare to be blown away by the biggest cultural events of the year. We find that...

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Club Med la Palmeraie outside Marrakech, Morocco, at dusk
Article
Club Meds Of Morocco

Combine an exotic locale, millenia of history, and a comfortable resort atmosphere populated by like-minded families and voila! You have the three Club Meds in Morocco, each an all-inclusive and family-welcoming resort. Let's take a look. Club Med Agadir is one of the region's oldest resorts, an Atlantic Ocean beachfront environment in a purpose-built resort area not far from...

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Gallup, New Mexico and the surrounding Native American lands seen from a hot air balloon
Article
Fabulous Fall Getaways

Harvest season. Kid-friendly festivals. Halloween. Let the fall fun begin! There’s no better time than autumn to get outdoors and get away whether you have a day, a weekend or a week. The climate is ideal; there is the right ratio of visitors to locals and grandparents can savor their preschoolers without the crowds. In many places, shoulder season prices make a fall getaway a bargain, especially...

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Dead Exposure: Patient Zero skulls.
Article
Surviving Halloween Horror Nights

Having survived a night of gleeful terror at Universal Orlando’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, I can report that #HHN is a blast. Its  -- a frightful fest of doom that's worth repeating annually. Both Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood reach out to a fresh crop of master storytellers, as well as sharing original tales, so there are always new horrors to survive. This...

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Article
Pennsylvania Apple Farms – U-Pick ‘Em And Enjoy

September and October are our favorite months to tour the Pennsylvania U-Pick farms for apple and pumpkin picking. Even a day in the fields can make a long weekend in the great family-friendly city of Philadelphia seem like a full vacation. If you're a history buff and are touring the great battlefield of Gettysburg, we have a few pick-your-own farms in that region...

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pick your own pumpkin at Alstede Farms
Article
New York Metro Apple Farms – U-Pick ‘Em And Enjoy

The late summer and early fall is pick your own apples time, and a day at a New York Metro U-Pick farm is the perfect staycation or basis for a cheap weekend getaway for many area families. Follow my family to the countryside in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for the best P-Y-O apple and pumpkin picking farms in the tristate metropolitan area. If...

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Article
Top Ten Cancun Resorts For Families

Cancun, Mexico means white sand beaches, tropical vistas, luxury resorts, and some of Mexico’s most historic sights, making it one of the hottest spots for a family vacation by the sea. And while Mexico’s Mayan ruins are an essential stop, the top-of-the-line resorts along Cancun’s Zona Hotelera (the Hotel Zone) are almost destinations in themselves. We've been to most...

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Student Article
A Leap Into the Past

The bitter wind cut into the sizable group of Floridians that huddled in the city center platz of the medieval city of Rothenburg, Germany. Snowballs soared through the air like cannonballs and smoke escaped mouths like modern fire-breathing dragons. We stood in our newly purchased ski jackets and scarves, waiting. Suddenly, a bulky figure lumbered out of the Rathaus City Hall building. The man...

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Artistically painted pumpkin
Article
Autumn Interludes and Fall Family Vacation Ideas

If a uniquely American and slightly eccentric fall festival in North Carolina,Texas, Wisconsin, Maine or Vermont is your idea of a fun fall getaway, read on. Autumn is the time to harvest some of the many free activities and discounted hotel rooms offered in small towns across America. Whether you combine a stay deal with

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Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park
Article
Blizzard Beach, Orlando’s Cheap Theme Park

Blizzard Beach, a Disney water park, is one my favorite places to take my sons Wyatt, age 10, and Joseph, age 12, as well as my husband. Done up only as Disney can do, a day at Blizzard Beach is all about family fun, no matter how old your children might be. What's more, this is one Orlando attraction that won't break the bank. Designed like an Alpine Village, adults and kids make waves under...

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Article
Hear The Whistle Blow On The Grand Canyon Railway

Come aboard the historic Grand Canyon Railway for a comfortable train trip that will wow grandchildren. The journey travels through time between the Old West town of Williams, Arizona and the rim of the majestic Grand Canyon. Until I met my husband, I had never heard of anyone riding a train.  I don’t mean riding a train to get somewhere, but riding it for the sheer pleasure; such as taking a...

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woman at laptop computer
Article
Our Favorite Vacation Deals and Booking Sites

We are often asked how to save money planning a vacation, so we are sharing our favorite sites for discount travel booking. We really do use them all. You can click on any of these site ads, search for your needs and pay for your bookings through them, knowing they are trustworthy.  Through our affiliate relationship with them, we will get a small commission payment. Our commission doesn't cost...

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Article
Top Ten Geek Sights In Silicon Valley

In San Jose, the self-anointed “Capital of Silicon Valley,” what can the public see of the secretive tech industry? Google is headquartered in Mountain View, Facebook in Menlo Park, Yahoo! in Sunnyvale – all suburbs within a half-hour of San Jose. But my airport driver Luis (who drives for eBay, Adobe and Google) explains that Silicon...

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Colonial era homes in Philadelphia's Historic Districts.
Article
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Attractions

Take a closer look at spots tourists love and local families' favorites to discover don't-miss attractions when exploring Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the family. To make exploring easier, Philadelphia is a participant in CityPASS, a discount ticket program which lets visitors skip most main-entrance...

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space theemd hotel
Article
Give Up a Night at 10 Unique Hotels

Want to skip the mass market hotel room for an Instagrammable sleeping experience your friends and family may envy – and the kids will remember forever? Travelers have a bigger choice of hotels and vacation rentals than ever before, as independent properties experiment with new forms of hospitality in décor, amenities and guest experiences. It’s time. Introduce the family to a whole new...

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Student Article
A Natural Revelation

A short year ago, a city of great feats stood before me as my feet lifted from the grey steps of the airplane’s rickety ladder, and landed on the concrete below me. This tentative step marked the first time in three years that I set foot on the land that I used to call home. Shortly after landing and completing the process of entering the airport, walking to the luggage claim, panicking at the luggage...

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Student Article
From Ten to Twenty – Lessons learned Ecuador

As our large bus wheeled up the narrow path along Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador, I was distracted from the likelihood of death by the breathtaking view. Flowers I’ve never seen before, livestock, and people in beautiful clothing; nothing like the basic city life back home. Very relaxing. When I noticed the small, blue crosses dedicated to those who underestimated the vertical extent of the range, I...

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Student Article
Discovering the Natural World in Norway

My sister Hanna and I sprinted down the dirt path, with our parents lagging behind. Ahead of us was one of the many stunning mountains that line Norway’s fjords. Waterfalls spewed from its cliffs. At the top was Buerbreen glacier. We had been to Norway many times before to visit our mother’s family, but this was our first trip to the west coast. As I raced Hanna to the beginning of the trail, I...

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Student Article
Bear-ly Up the Mountain

The trail, meandering below the canopy as hardly a trickle of dust, seemed nondescript. We stood at the edge of its start, our backpacks hanging from our sweaty backs as mosquitos buzzed our ears. “Ten miles will be easy,” my mother assured us. Us three kids glanced at each other, our eyes bright and nervous, and then swung our heads to the sign. WATCH OUT FOR BEARS, it blared. It warned about...

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Student Article
A Volunteer Trip I’ll Never Forget

Over the last six years, I have amassed over a thousand community service hours, volunteering at a variety of different events and organizations. I’ve worked at trash pick-ups, tutoring clubs, golf tournaments, you name it. However, there has been one experience that has resonated with me. When I was a freshman in high school, I met a group called Ascend. They are a diverse medley of college students...

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Student Article
The Bahamas

From the bright blue sky above, the sun beat down, casting its rays of warmth across the Bahamian sand. I felt warmed from the inside out, while a light misting from the ocean kept me cool. The soft breeze tickled the hair surrounding my face and felt pleasantly cool against my skin. The tangy smell of salt enveloped me, but did not overwhelm me like it does for some. It was a comforting scent, a scent...

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Student Article
The Magic of Lost Lake

During the summer of 2018 my wanderlust was still going strong and we were visiting my family in Grand Junction, Colorado. My only goal for our one free day was to see some big pine trees. My mother suggested a lake she visited as a child. The recent reviews mentioned mosquitoes so we covered up and brought a small bottle of bug spray (spoiler: we should of brought more spray). The drive up to the...

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Student Article
Lessons From Whales

Everyone anxiously stood still, holding their breath. Excitement exuded from everyone on board as we all waited to see what we journeyed so far for. Then we heard it: the whooshing sound of a whale exhaling. Our heads snapped to where the sound came from and there he was. A magnificent Humpback whale rubbing against the rocks. Everyone smiled and let out sounds of excitement. There was a rush of cameras...

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Student Article
Here Lies a World Down Under

Finally, after about a twenty-four hour plane ride from Brooklyn, New York to Cairns, Australia, my father and I made it. We wobbled off the plane with water retention in our legs, brimming with excitement to begin the next part of our journey. We stepped off of the plane onto an open tarmac surrounded by hundreds of palm trees and mountains. These mountains seemed so high that they met the clouds...

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Article
Exploring the Museum of Emigration in Antwerp, Belgium

Visitors to the Red Star Line Museum, a new addition to the city of Antwerp, can experience the fascinating story of people in search of a new home in North America. History of Immigration to the US Immigration is a concept on which the United States was built, and one which today evokes heated discussion in Congress and amongst our citizens.  Since America's earliest...

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DisneyStyle shop
Article
Disney Springs Discount Orlando Rates

If 2018 is your time to finally take the family to Walt Disney World, look into booking one of the value Disney Springs Hotels which offer specials for stays almost all year long.  Bargain watchers take note: these hotels (in the commercial area formerly known as Downtown Disney) are closest to the parks without being Disney managed, offer free shuttles every 30 minutes so you can leave your...

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Student Article
My Quick Forest Getaway

As I rounded the corner I felt my breath escape my lungs with a loud push, my jaw dropping to the ground in awe. What was in front of me was so magnificent in beauty and size I couldn’t quite believe it was real. It was the view you only read about in fairy tales or myths. The trees around me helped to spark my imagination of the view in front of me, the feeling of walking into the pages of a fantasy...

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Student Article
A Lighthouse, Fish, and St. Patricks Day…Oh My!

¡Bienvenidas to La Coruña, Spain! Nestled in the northwest corner of Spain, right above neighboring Portugal sits the autonomous community of Galicia. Located on the edge of the Atlantic lays one of Galicia’s most important cities, La Coruña. The city itself dates back to Roman times around the second century AD. The Romans utilized this perfect costal location to create a bustling port city...

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Student Article
Kauai: Just Around the River Bend

As my family and I drive through the lush green roads of Kauai, I can't help but gasp at what surrounds me. The winding roads cut through meadows of tall grasses that are framed by massive mountains. While my family chatters on, I cannot help but to quietly observe that the mountains seem to protectively tower over the island, much like a father protecting his daughter. Since I grew up in the busy...

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Student Article
The Secret of Salinas

A quaint city located in the Andes mountains of Ecuador at about 11,600 feet above sea level, Salinas de Guaranda is small, but from them I have learned that even the smallest things can push the biggest obstacles. Salinas is a peaceful city of vibrant-colored buildings surrounded by lush, green mountains. The name Salinas originates from the city’s infamous salt mine, which is situated in the city...

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Student Article
Fraternité in France

Stepping out of the Charles de Gaulle Etoile subway stop and being greeted by the Arc de Triomphe as snow-peppered wind kissed my nose was the most magical moment of my life. Knowing that Napoleon’s prestige brought an entire continent to its knees and seeing the remnants of his power mere blocks from bullet-worn buildings from the German occupation felt like a swift basketball to the gut. I remember...

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Student Article
Hau’oli in Hawaii

I eagerly stepped onto land I had never been on before, but to my surprise, it felt like home. In July of last summer, our nine day adventure began in the beautiful island of Oahu. Happiness comes in many shapes and forms. For my family, it was the conveyor belt that moved our shopping cart between the different floors at Walmart. From this first glimpse of Hawaii, I knew I would love my time there. The...

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Student Article
Visit to Denali National Park

When most people think “vacation,” they think shopping, beaches, lots of sun. When I think vacation, I imagine the wilderness, scenic landscapes and wildlife. Alaska fit my idea of vacation perfectly. A place of natural beauty virtually untainted by human civilization, Alaska is abundant with gorgeous scenery, a peaceful atmosphere, and wildlife perfect for a nature lover. Kicking off our search...

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Student Article
Mosquito Beach

Mosquito Beach, MI is a very deceiving name, for the beach itself is anything but deterring. We began the day by hiking through dense woods, past trickling streams, and over rolling sand dunes. We trudged along for what seemed like hours but in reality was only about an hour and half. Finally, it was as if the clouds parted and we were seeing the first rays of sunshine after a storm. The path opened...

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Student Article
Blueberries in Belarus

When I look back, my fondest memory is small, round, and blue. One might expect that a different object would surface in my memory, but my mind always circles back to the blueberry, or chernika, in Russian. And not just a single berry, but bucket after bucket laden with this juicy fruit just screaming to be eaten. Every couple of years, my family would fly thousands of miles to return back home,...

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Prince Gardens at Schloss Schonbrunn
Article
Living the Imperial Life in Vienna

There are few European cities associated with imperial style like Vienna, where hundreds of palaces, gilded monuments and museums attest to a grand past. Today, visitors to the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire can experience that lavish lifestyle for themselves. Sleeping at a Castle Relive the life of a Hapsburg empress at the delectable Schönbrunn Grand Suite...

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Student Article
Cancun’s Beautiful Neighbor

The strong wind and obnoxiously blinding sun had me squinting for the entire twenty-minute ride. It was a good thing we were at the top of the double decker tour boat, or I would be squinting purely to avoid an eyeful of the salty caribbean water. Even through the slits of my eyelids the ocean looked like a fluid blue crystal. Seagulls flew overhead, closely following our boat as we approached the...

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Student Article
The Best Way to Get Lost in the French Riviera

After walking through the gorgeous checkerboard-covered square Place Massena, we reached the bustling main street that hugs the pebbly beaches of the Mediterranean. Our tour guide led us to an unending flight of stairs that led up to what’s called Castle Hill. I began to run up the ruthless stairs, curious about what waited for me at the top. Pictures can’t do it justice. The golden sunset falling...

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Student Article
Underwater: A Different Dimension of Paradise

When the last snorkel bag is jammed into the back of the rental car, my family piles in. Our crew, a group of thirteen, consists of snorkelers ranging in age from 8 to 73. We drive up the coast of West Maui to Honolua Bay, buzzing with energy for a morning snorkel at one of the most extraordinary locations in the world. We traipse along the dirt path in the woods and arrive at our snorkel spot. All...

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Student Article
Destination: Great Wall of China

I once was under the impression that seeing something in a picture was the same thing as being in that place. As a result, I never saw the need to travel to discover anything. I was happy at home with my books and internet connection. The world was mine to discover through the text of a Wikipedia page. I pictured the Great Wall in my mind’s eye. The rough cobblestone, worn away by thousands of...

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