Travel and Play

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

Hawaii getaway: A blast to Lahaina’s historic past

LAHAINA, Maui — This tropical town may be better known for its touristy souvenir shops and cafes, but a stroll along Lahaina’s waterfront yields a …

Hawaii

Inn-Escapable: Pioneer Inn, Lahaina

This historic inn adjacent to the Lahaina harbor was built in 1901, back when there were no lodgings on the island at all — and 400 whaling ships …

Hotels

‘Forest bathing’ and more: Trying out Airbnb’s ‘experiences’

It’s the question no local wants to hear when they’re entertaining friends or family from out of town — “Can we go to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the …

San Francisco

Me & My Car: ’61 Austin-Healey restored from ‘mess’ to success

Yes, there were men named Herbert Austin and Donald Healey. One might think the two industrialists got together and agreed to build snazzy sports …

Classic Cars

Inn-Escapable: Kauai Shores Hotel in Kapaa

Perched on Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast, the 200-room Kauai Shores Hotel has given the old Kauai Sands property a fresh face lift. There’s a …

Hotels

Big Island getaway: Hanging in Hilo

Depending on whom you ask, Hawaii’s Big Island has four out of the five major climate zones in the world. Or all 5 major climate zones. Or 8 of 13 …

Hawaii

Ghirardelli golf: Alameda’s Subpar expands to San Francisco

If you’ve ever golfed down Lombard Street’s curves or across the Golden Gate Bridge with all its loop-di-loop thrills, chances are good that you know …

San Francisco

Kauai getaway: Big fun in a tiny town

HANAPEPE, Kauai — Tucked halfway between the resorts and shores of Poipu and the grand landscapes of Waimea Canyon State Park, you’ll find the tiny …

Hawaii

Travel Gear: A water bottle that’s a pill dispenser

<b>A WATER BOTTLE WITH PIGGY BACK PILL DISPENSER:</b> You would think that those of us on a daily regimen of pills would always have on hand a bottle of …

Hacking

Sneak peek: Scary clown, zombies chew the fat on Great America Halloween Haunt

Upon approach, all seems deceptively calm. Eerily restful. Dare I say … normal.<p>Yet as I enter the forlorn and frightening hallways of Madame Marie’s …

Conspiracies

Photos: Snow! And on the last day of summer

It may be the last day of summer but that didn’t stop snow falling in the Sierra on Thursday morning. Check out these photos from the National Park …

Weather

Hamilton’s James Monroe Iglehart voices the Demon at California’s Great America

Hamilton star James Monroe Iglehart may sing like an angel but the Bay Area native has signed on to be the voice of “The Demon” at California’s Great …

Tony Awards

Halloween 2017: Bay Area haunted houses, pumpkin patches, fall festivals

Here’s a city-by-city guide to 2017 Halloween events, both the frightful and the family-friendly. Send details about your event to …

Holidays

Milpitas: Higuera Adobe reopens following $2 million facelift

Following months of closure for renovation work, Jose Higuera Adobe Park, which features a historic structure below the hills of northern Milpitas, …

Travel

Get your scare on at these five frightening California theme parks

This time of year, something wicked this way comes to most of California’s theme parks, where the theme is frighteningly familiar: Halloween …

Walt Disney Company

Retro travel: Soar in vintage style above the Bay Area

Think of it as Dr. Who’s Tardis with wings.<p>The meticulously restored and technically upgraded 1939 DC-3 of Golden Age Air Tours takes passengers on a …

Travel

Lahaina: 3 sensational spots to dine on Maui

Lahaina has always been an interesting mix of touristy kitsch, surfer chic and echoes of the past. But up until the last few years, the town’s dining …

Restaurants

Things to do in Hawaii: Vans Surf championships, Food & Wine fest

Heading for the islands? Autumn brings two major festivals to Hawaii:<p><b>Hawaii Food & Wine Festival:</b> The seventh annual Hawaiian foodie extravaganza, …

Hawaii

Oahu for the surf-averse

North Shore, OAHU — Ever since California-born surfers first rode the epic waves rolling through Waimea Bay in the 1950s, Oahu’s North Shore has been …

Hawaii

‘Emotional support dogs’ on planes more scam than therapy?

There’s not much that scares former Army Delta Force operator Josh Collins: not seven combat tours in in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, not getting …

Dogs

Frontier Airlines adds non-stop San Jose flights amid expansion push

SAN JOSE — Frontier Airlines, the latest airline to announce a major expansion of its routes out of San Jose international airport, said Tuesday it …

Airlines

The world’s 10 most gorgeous sunset spots

When it comes to sunsets — or sunrises — we long to live on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s fantastical planet, where the Little Prince saw the sky turn …

National Parks

California’s national monuments spared in Trump review

Six of America’s national monuments — from Utah’s red rock canyons to remote islands in the South Pacific — would be reduced in size, under …

National Parks

Long-awaited Mount Umunhum opens to the public

MT. UMUNHUM — On a mountain peak long off-limits to the public, officials gathered on Saturday for a rare and breathtaking sight: a 360-degree view …

National Parks

Spooky! Disneyland Resort ready for Halloween — and California Adventure will be ‘darker and edgier’

Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is back at the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain has become the Ghost Galaxy coaster, and a …

Disneyland

Travel Troubleshooter: Airbnb switcheroo, now what?

<b>Dear Travel Troubleshooter:</b> I booked an apartment in Paris on Airbnb recently. At the last moment, the host gave me a different address and said, …

Airbnb

Flying dinosaurs? This show takes science to a new level for kids

They were the largest flying animals that ever lived. With brilliant crests and wingspans the size of small airplanes, pterosaurs were neither …

Dinosaurs

Editorial: Mount Umunhum finally open — and is it ever spectacular

Gaze in amazement. Breathe deeply. Experience the escape — above the hurly burly in the magnificent serenity that only a safe perch on a pinnacle in …

Outdoors

New driver’s license requirements are coming to U.S. airports

By Benjamin Din,Reuben Fischer-Baum and Kevin Uhrmacher | The Washington Post<p>In the past few months, straggling states have been in a mad dash to …

Immigration