Travel and Play

By The Mercury News | Travel and recreation features from The Mercury News staff and columnists

Why non-citizens in California can still get in trouble for smoking marijuana

Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen should use extreme caution before partaking in California’s newest legal recreational activity because it could have …

Cannabis

Biggest storm of the winter promises killer ski conditions

It started, as these things often do, with a light dusting of snow. But as this week unfolds, so will the skies over the Sierra Nevada, dumping a …

Skiing

Higher prices won’t make Disneyland any less crowded

Next month marks the one-year anniversary of the most recent ticket price increases at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Given that price increases …

Walt Disney Company

Photos: Disney icon Minnie Mouse gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Disney icon Minnie Mouse was honored with the 2,627th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The star was dedicated in the …

Walt Disney Company

Roadshow: Documents you need to get a “REAL ID”

<b>Q:</b> So we will need original or certified documents in order to get the new federal “REAL ID” to board a plane. What is meant by original or certified …

San Mateo

Top 10 U.S. National Parks — from a British perspective

You can rank this country’s National Parks by all sorts of metrics, from most visited to most underrated —or simply “the best.”<p>Last year, …

Blue Ridge Mountains

Insider’s Guide: You think you know the Golden Gate Bridge?

<i>Click here if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile device</i><p>The Golden Gate Bridge rose to the height of fame in 1937 and …

San Francisco

Travel Troubleshooter: Puerto Rico’s hurricane and an American Airlines snafu

<b>Dear Travel Troubleshooter:</b> I booked my Thanksgiving vacation from Chicago to San Juan, Puerto Rico, through American Airlines Vacations. I had …

Airlines

5 sensational new Napa and Sonoma wineries to visit

Heading for Napa or Sonoma anytime soon? Here’s a quintet of incredible wine-tasting experiences that have launched within the last few years. Some …

Santa Rosa

5 best Golden Gate Bridge photo spots

Heading to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to capture the ultimate Instagram shot? Whether you’re photographing the bridge itself or posing for …

San Francisco

Winter is here: ‘Game of Thrones’ ice hotel opens

<b>By Jari Tanner | Associated Press</b><p>HELSINKI — A “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel complete with a bar and a chapel for weddings has opened in northern …

Game of Thrones

Why Disney’s trackless rides can be a lot more fun than their predecessors

Heard about “trackless” rides?<p>Beginning in 2000, Disney began deploying rides, both indoor dark rides and outdoor, free-motion rides, which, instead …

Walt Disney Company

Is this hotel purposely driving away birds and squirrels?

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> I was recently in San Diego for five days of leisure and was taken aback by the almost complete absence of birds around the Marriott …

Nature

Good dog? Bad dog? Delta wants to know before you board

DALLAS — Delta Air Lines will soon require owners of service and support animals to provide more information before their animal can fly in the …

Airlines

Alaska Airlines announces 5 new routes to California from Pacific Northwest

Are you familiar with the airport code PAE?<p>If you work at Boeing or for the U.S. Navy, you’re probably quite familiar with Everett, Washington, and …

Airlines

British Airway boots man who tried to fly wearing everything he packed

<b>By Amy B Wang | Washington Post</b><p>There are many approaches to avoid paying a fee for excess luggage when traveling by air these days.<p>You could pack …

Airlines

The federal government may shut down Friday, what will that mean for you?

The federal government has shut down 18 times in the last four decades and the 19th could begin Friday at 9 p.m. California time if lawmakers hung up …

Government

Chasing U.F.O.s across the sky in the North Bay

BENICIA – Some say “they” are out there, you only need look.<p>U.F.O’s have captured the imaginations of people for centuries, sparking literature, …

UFOs

8 things from Disneyland’s past that need to come back

With Disneyland kicking off its retro-inspired “After Dark” event this week, here are eight things from Disneyland’s past that I wish I could see …

Walt Disney Company

Top 10 vacation destinations for solo travelers

Whether you’re a backpacking college student or an empty nester out to explore the world, solo travel is on the rise and, according to Lonely Planet, …

Travel

Newest Disney ride getting rave reviews isn’t in the park – it’s the $3 bus from the Inland Empire

The guests settled comfortably into their seats for the newest Disney ride. They didn’t even have to tug on the yellow strap.<p>The riders included a …

California

Roadshow: Warning: Speed cameras flourish overseas

<b>Q:</b> We returned from Australia two months ago and are now starting to receive in the mail speeding tickets from cameras. So far we have received three …

Menlo Park

Sonoma Day Trip: Explore the gardens and wineries of Cornerstone Sonoma

There’s no shortage of things to do, taste or sip in Sonoma, where wineries line the lanes and cute boutiques and bistros crowd town squares. It’s …

Wine

Travel Troubleshooter: No compensation for a 14-hour flight delay??

<b>Dear Travel Troubleshooter:</b> I recently flew from Los Angeles to Reykjavik, Iceland, on WOW Air, a discount airline. WOW told me to arrive at 4:30 …

Airlines

Disneyland’s flying Dumbo elephants are grounded, and the reason’s kind of shady

One of Disneyland’s most popular rides in history has shut down temporarily, but don’t panic: It will be back up and flying again soon, with a new …

Disneyland

Snow blankets the Sierra, and resorts are hummin’

It seems almost callous in a way, but as Southern California copes with the deadly mudslides that have sent places like Montecito into shock, skiers …

Skiing

What’s coming up this year at the Disneyland Resort

Well, here we are, thrust into a brand-new year without even fastening our seat belts. And, among the many vexing things on your mind, I’m sure the …

Walt Disney Company

DMV to begin issuing ‘Real IDs,’ required for domestic flights beginning 2020

<b>Click here if you are having trouble viewing the video on your mobile device.</b><p>SACRAMENTO — The California DMV will begin later this month accepting …

Identity Theft

A Yosemite Starbucks plan sets off a Half Dome-sized hullabaloo

Starbucks in Yosemite?<p>Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?<p>Well, after the Fresno Bee reported the other day that the park’s concessionaire …

National Parks