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10 places to see in 2013

Here, in alphabetical order, are 10 places I'd like to see in 2013. Several are cities, one is a state, three are entire nations, and all have interesting things happening in the weeks and months ahead. Will I get to them all? Probably not.<p>But if I did, in alphabetical order, come December, I'd be …

More for Your Money: Readers share hard-won wisdom

One of the biggest trouble spots for travelers is the topic of money — how to spend wisely on vacation, what to do in foreign countries, how much, what credit cards and much more.<p>When we asked Times readers for their travel tips, many responded with dandy money-related ideas. This special edition …

Luggage service vs. package delivery: Packing for the long haul

Question: My husband and I will be traveling abroad for several weeks. We plan to pack lightly so that we do not have to check luggage. However, we will need more toiletries than we can carry on our planes so we are thinking about shipping them ahead. Can you give us any advice?<p>Patricia Koch<p>Long …

Top 10 overlooked stunning buildings

While most travelers know to visit the Musee d'Orsay while in Paris or the Guggenheim Museum when in New York City, there are hundreds of buildings that get overlooked, either because of their location or simply the number of sites in the city deemed worth seeing. With jaw-dropping structures in …

Rules for frequent fliers are changing

Frequent-flier miles have taken me around the world. African safaris, a snorkeling trip on the Great Barrier Reef, a Baltic Sea cruise and treks in the Himalayas have all been possible thanks to airfare paid with miles.<p>So it was a shock when a group of fellow elite-mileage travelers and I recently …

49 places in San Francisco that you might have missed

You've been to San Francisco. You know not to call it "Frisco," not to expect ample parking, not to forget your sweater. You know the Powell Street cable cars run through Union Square and where to find the Golden Gate Bridge. You know that most days, the Oakland Airport works as well as SFO, …

Ringling showcases 'L.A. Style' in Sarasota

It's a fine time to be a photography fan in Florida.<p>Less than a month ago, I reported on a terrific exhibit of Annie Leibovitz portraits on display through June 9 at the Norton Museum of Art (nortonmuseum.org) in West Palm Beach.<p>Now, there's an equally captivating collection of work by acclaimed …

What's next for Marvel characters at Disney theme parks

The brief announcement that Disney plans to add a Marvel-themed land to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2017 raises a host of questions:<p>Will Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men be getting their own rides?<p>When will the Marvel characters be coming to Anaheim, Paris, Tokyo or Shanghai?<p>And …

On the Spot: Dealing with a lost passport? What you should know.

<b>Question:</b> My girlfriend lost her passport on March 17 on a United Airlines flight. Someone in United's customer service team called on April 10 and left me a voicemail saying they had it. I accidentally deleted the voicemail. Since then she has called multiple times and sent emails to the customer …

LA's towering achievement in eccentricity

LOS ANGELES — Sometimes you see something, and you can't help but smile.<p>And, so I'm grinning as I turn in a circle, first seeing a concrete wall studded with perfect green circles of glass. Then, another wall — this one embedded with shards of dinner plates and cups — bright yellow, pale yellow, …

Top 5 hotels you don't need to leave

While many travelers treat the hotel as simply a spot to sleep while vacationing, some of us enjoy a one-stop shop that has everything from award-winning restaurants and daytime entertainment to a great location and comfortable accommodations. For those who prefer an all-encompassing hotel, the …

Sun, sand and sisterhood

LOS CABOS, Mexico — Nonstop laughter resounded from the round table of nine seated in the corner of a fine-dining restaurant at an all-inclusive resort. To further pique my curiosity, each woman had a brightly colored silk flower pinned in her hair. I couldn't resist approaching them to find out …

Nature plays new-wave music in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Tucked away in the Marina District, on a spit of land jutting into San Francisco Bay, lies one of this city's hidden treasures.<p>The Wave Organ is an acoustic sculpture that brings the bay's waves and tides to life. Built around a series of 25 submerged PVC tubes encased in concrete, …

Author maps the 'naughty' side of LA

Who says tour guidebooks have to be dull?<p>Certainly not Sienna Sinclaire, author of "Naughty Girl's Guide to Los Angeles" (Naughty Girl Press).<p>Sinclaire, an adult model, author and sex coach, has produced nearly 400 pages of adult diversions for locals or visitors to LA. And those diversions come in …

Top 10 places to see animals in the wild

With the thawing of winter in many parts of the world, animals and humans alike are starting to wake up and get outside. As avid wildlife watchers, members of VirtualTourist.com, a leading travel website, compiled a list of the "Top 10 Places to See Animals in the Wild."<p>1. Serengeti National Park - …

Perks and pointers for spending less

Here are some tips to add to your storehouse of money-saving knowledge. For instance, you can get money back when a hotel room rate drops. Or you may be able to get free airline lounge passes or a hotel upgrade. Here's how.<p>Getting money back if the price goes down: If your hotel lowers your room …

Springtime for Charlotte: 10 reasons to fly there now

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Many a traveler moves through Charlotte; fewer stick around. For some, it's just a busy hub airport, visited occasionally while taking advantage of US Airways' often reasonable fares to other places. We know it as an important financial capital, we know it's not Charleston, or …

Museum puts Amsterdam in eternal bloom

AMSTERDAM — Even when the city's canals freeze and its prolific bicyclists don heavy parkas and woolen mittens, the famous Dutch tulips are still in bloom, if you know where to look.<p>The tulip fields of the Netherlands are blooming in April, but the Amsterdam Tulip Museum is always awash in a …