Travel and Play

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

State Dept. Q&A on overseas travel with kids turns brutal

By <b>ELI ROSENBERG</b> | The Washington Post<p>The informational Q&A on Facebook Live hosted by two State Department bureaucrats expounding on the intricacies …

Social Media

Grape stomps, barrel tastings and Paso Robles Harvest Wine Weekend

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>The aroma of ripe grapes wafts through Paso Robles’ Opolo winery and its …

Paso Robles

Bacon fest, bacon camp — it’s a bacon extravaganza

It’s the B in your BLT. The streaky rashers of brunch. The raison d’être of breakfast. Now bacon has moved beyond the morning realm and sandwich …

Festivals

Meet Kianto, Happy Hollow’s new jaguar

There’s a new big cat in town, and we know what you’re thinking: Happy Hollow Park and Zoo’s newest addition — a 12-year-old male jaguar named Kianto …

Diets

Gilroy Garlic Festival: 40 years of fragrant fun

<b>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</b><p>Forty years ago, no one had ever heard of garlic-flavored ice …

Ice Cream

If you liked Comic-Con, here are 5 more pop culture festivals

San Diego’s Comic-Con International draws fans from across the pop culture spectrum, from graphic-novel devotees and cosplay crowds to film buffs. …

Silicon Valley

Comic-Con rules the pop culture universe

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Kapow! Back in 1970, a ragtag band of hoodie-clad geeks banded together …

Comics

3 cool things to do in San Diego (besides Comic-Con)

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>There’s only so much time you can spend dressed up as the Incredible Hulk …

San Diego

Top 10 coolest small towns in America (including one in California)

Great food, beautiful landscapes, cultural appeal and a population under 20,000? For more than a decade, the folks at BudgetTravel.com have been …

Top 10

3 fun things to do in Laguna Beach that aren’t Pageant of the Masters

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>This Orange County coastal hamlet is internationally known for its …

Laguna Beach

5 great California arts festivals

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>You’ve cavorted at Pageant of the Masters and museum-hopped across the …

Film Festivals

Pageant of the Masters brings art to life

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Laguna Beach is particularly proud of two things: its legacy as a haven …

Art

Glitz, glamour and Festival Napa Valley

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Strains of Brahms waft over the courtyard of the Castello di Amorosa in …

Napa Valley

3 things to do while you’re in Napa this summer

Whether you’re enjoying Festival Napa Valley’s classical music in the vineyards or winery hopping at back-to-back tasting appointments, don’t forget …

Napa Valley

5 California summer (non-pop) music festivals for your bucket list

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Everyone knows about Coachella and Outside Lands. But what about the …

Music Festivals

What happens now with IHOP’s name change campaign?

Can people wrap their brains around IHOb?<p>That’s the challenge that faces IHOP, the Glendale-based restaurant chain, after it flipped the uppercase …

Social Media

3 California music festivals every music fan should attend at least once

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Already hit Outside Lands? Here are three more hot California music …

Festivals

Outside Lands: Rocking Golden Gate Park

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Tens of thousands of music lovers turn out each year for San Francisco’s …

Festivals

California’s 7 oddest fairs, races and parades

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Or at least …

Swimming Pools

These 5 California county fairs are definitely worth a trip

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>California’s 58 counties all celebrate their history, heritage and …

Los Angeles

5 oddest California State Fair attractions

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile device</i><p>If you thought demolition derbies and pig races were about as …

Speedboat

A Disney pastry chef and blue-ribbon judge dishes on state fair food

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>What is it about county fairs that brings out the daft glutton in all of …

Deep Frying

California’s State Fair, a century and a half of history, no butter cows

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device</i><p>Let the Iowa State Fair have its butter cow.<p>The annual celebration of all …

Heatstroke

What’s new at Disneyland and other California theme parks this summer

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing these photos on a mobile device</i><p>Looking for something fresh to do this summer? This is the high season …

Walt Disney Company

Travel Troubleshooter: Yet another tale of WOW Air refund woes

<b>Dear Travel Troubleshooter:</b> I have been struggling to get any feedback from WOW Air about my refund request for a flight it canceled from Paris to …

Flying

Cherry-pit spitters let it fly at San Jose farmers market

Amid the tech company headquarters and high-rise apartments, it’s refreshing to see San Jose slow down now and then embrace its inner farm town. And …

Silicon Valley

Embattled Martins Beach isn’t the only paradise on California coast

Absence, especially for devoted beach-lovers, made the heart grow fonder.<p>For nearly a decade, the hearts of surfers, hikers, picnickers and your …

Silicon Valley

A matter of policy: On-demand insurance comes to Uber, Lyft rides

A new feature being offered to riders using Uber or Lyft harkens back to the days when you could purchase flight insurance at the airport just before …

Health Care

Roller coaster derails, drops 2 riders 30 feet; 6 injured

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Two passengers fell 34 feet (10 meters) to the ground when a roller coaster derailed and authorities had to pull eight others …

Roller Coasters