Melissa Burdick Harmon

    Melissa Burdick Harmon

  • Charming villages around the world

    These magical villages are beautiful and welcoming places. You might not get to live there, but these photos make you want to plan a visit.

  • The small-town fight to save Amtrak's Southwest Chief

    It is a magical journey. It is a way to experience the panoramic scenery of the Midwest and West without ever turning a key in an ignition. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is cited as one of the loveliest rail trips in the world, and its future is in jeopardy.

  • Destinations cater to Thanksgiving travelers with recreation, family fun and gourmet dinners

    Some of us still go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, but plenty of others choose to grab that precious four-day weekend for a mini-vacation. That often means ordering off a menu instead of sharpening the carving knife to enjoy Tom turkey (or lobster tail or prime rib or [...]

  • Daily Destination: Jerusalem

    A swirling, vibrant chaos, Jerusalem’s Old City is home to major sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A suggested itinerary, based on chronology: First, visit the Western Wall (in Hebrew Ha Kotel), where devout Jews pray and visitors place slips of paper — notes to God — between the stones. Second, pay a visit to [...]

  • Daily Destination: Take a hike in King Arthur’s back yard in Wales

    Ask almost anyone in Wales where to go for a great walk, in a country known for great walks, and odds are good that you will find yourselves in Snowdonia National Park in northwest Wales. There, you can explore 823 square miles of nature in the raw—from more than 100 icy cold lakes to seriously [...]

  • Daily Destination: Grape festival in Montmartre, Paris

    Think Paris and it’s likely you will plan to visit the Louvre, zoom up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and head to Galeries Lafayette for some chic shopping. You’ll stroll along the Champs-Elysées and dine in a local bistro. You’ll perhaps glide down the Seine on a Bateau Mouche. But you’d also like [...]

  • America’s best fall-foliage trips, in pictures

    There’s something so exhilarating about those glorious first days of autumn, when the air becomes delightfully crisp, the skies are too blue to be true, and the autumn leaves start their quick-change act, shifting from green to scarlet or vivid gold or Halloween orange, in what seems like a matter of minutes. It’s a time [...]

  • Daily Destination: Atlantic City, N.J.

    Atlantic City, the legendary New Jersey beach resort, still offers teeth-achingly good saltwater taffy, as it has since 1889. Folks still stroll along the now 5.5-mile-long Boardwalk, stopping to buy a sweatshirt here, a candy apple there. Some opt to be pushed along in wicker chairs, enjoying the breeze, as folks have done for almost [...]

  • Daily Destination: Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Belfast—the new sleek, modern, tourist-pleasing Belfast—has a great deal to be proud of. It survived the Troubles, when the whole world knew that Protestants and Catholics were clearly on less than friendly terms. It made the shift from gritty industrial city to a major tourist destination, boasting some truly world-class visitor sites (think Titanic and [...]

  • Daily Destination: Kyoto, Japan

    Autumn comes early and in a blaze of color in Kyoto, Japan, with the city’s many deciduous trees turning to strikingly vivid shades of gold and deep orange. It is a serene and glorious setting, backed by soft hills. It is also just outside a city packed with temples—some of the most noteworthy in all [...]

  • 10 glorious gardens to explore

    Think about azaleas bursting into bloom in spring, glorious desert cacti in a bevy of bright colors or a world-class garden drawing visitors to an abandoned quarry in Canada. If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing Monet’s Garden in Giverny, you can without having to fly across the pond: A good replica exists in Kansas. Want [...]

  • 10 best free museums in the U.S.

    Looking for something fun — and free — to do in the waning days of summer? Why not head out to a museum? The map of America is dotted with great ones that don’t charge a penny for admission and that offer a high level of quality. Here are some of the best, ranging from [...]

  • 6 of the Most Romantic Places in America

    It’s a fact of life: Love blooms in lovely places. When the view is spectacular and the mood is mellow, magic is bound to follow. Here are six spots — in very varied parts of the country — that seem to be custom made for romance. Some of the prettiest settings are in big cities. [...]

  • Over-the-top wedding venues

    The average amount spent on an American dream wedding (not counting the honeymoon) was $28,427 in 2012, according to The Knot/Wedding Channel.com. New York City, not surprisingly, tops the list, at $76,687. Rhode Island, perhaps largely because of its to-die-for Newport mansions that host weddings, rolls in at an average of $48,000. Pretty seaside Santa [...]

  • Lakeside vacations that have it all

    It’s the shimmer of the water, catching shadows from the surrounding trees. It’s the opportunity for discovery—perhaps a hidden cave at water’s edge, or maybe a fabulous waterfront nightclub—it all depends on what you want. It’s a way to play where Hollywood superstars vacation, or to be stone alone deep in the wilderness. Whatever your [...]

  • Great road trips for summer fun

    Power down the car windows and power up the music . . . don’t always let your GPS be your boss . . . summer road trips are all about resting your mind and restoring your spirit. They are about driving down a narrow country lane just because it looks interesting, or pulling into a [...]