Travel

Travel stories, tips, photos, videos. Featuring west coast destinations, luxury resorts, and weekend getaways to Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, Carmel, and Baja California Sur.

Travel Review: Waking Up the Vatican in Rome, Italy (Video)

Waking Up the Vatican reviewvideo

They call it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the hour was up, I'd have to agree -- this is not mere hyperbole. "Waking Up the Vatican" (Video) is a new tour offered by organizers at TripAdvisor (Viator) and it's a pretty unique thing alright. The idea is that you get the Vatican all to yourself, that is one hour before it...

In Photos: Touring the breathtaking USS Hornet Museum in Alameda

Awe. Simply awe. That's the only word I could summon when touring this massive aircraft carrier. Taking a mere 16 months to build, the USS Hornet has become one of the country's most decorated ships -- in 1991 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. For $20 you can explore the ship and enjoy several docent-led and self-guided audio tours (engine...

Top 10: Best Cameras for Shooting Vacation Videos

Panasonic GH5 with Atomos Ninja Inferno Hands-on Review - First impressions

If you're headed on vacation and want to take high quality video here's a top 10 list of cameras that are worth your consideration. From $199 all the way up to $2,998 (USD) there's many great choices if you're looking to shoot videos on your next vacation. Yes, you can use your smartphone. Most top end Androids and iPhones produce pretty...

Best tripping, sipping and savoring around the San Juan Islands Pt. 2: Orcas Island

Time to board the ferry for the scenic ride to Orcas Island, or as the locals call it “the Emerald Isle”. A diverse green playground, Orcas is known for having the highest mountain in the San Juan’s, the gorgeous 5,252-acre Moran State Park with 38 miles of trails for you to hike, bike, or horseback ride through, and it’s...

Best tripping, sipping and savoring around the San Juan Islands Pt. 1: Whidbey Island

There are approximately 172 islands in Washington State’s San Juan County, plus the popular neighboring islands of Whidbey and Camano, and once you start visiting them you’ll soon learn that the finest fresh caught, shucked, brewed, foraged and farmed food awaits you at every turn. The easiest, prettiest and most fun way to island hop is on the Washington Ferry System which...

Wanderlust: Costa Rica Part 5 – Peace Lodge & La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Travel writer Janice Nieder continues her journey traveling across Costa Rica. Read on for travel tips and advice, plus a surprise or two in Part 5 on Stark Insider ... “Peace-out” at Peace Lodge and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens The perfect fairy tale ending to any Costa Rica trip has to be a stay at The Peace Lodge, a winning trifecta...

Wanderlust: Costa Rica Part 4 – Hotel Belmar & Monteverde Cloud Forest

Travel writer Janice Nieder continues her journey traveling across Costa Rica. Read on for travel tips and advice, plus a surprise or two in Part 4 on Stark Insider ... Hotel Belmar: an oldie but still bestie Although the family-run Hotel Belmar was one of the very first hotels to open in Monteverde back in 1985, the property is anything but tired...

Wanderlust: Costa Rica Part 3 – Villa Caletas

Travel writer Janice Nieder continues her journey traveling across Costa Rica. Read on for travel tips and advice, plus a surprise or two in Part 3 on Stark Insider ... Villa Caletas: fit for a Greek God Perched on a mountain top, almost 1,200 feet high, overlooking a fertile green rainforest backed by the shimmering blue Pacific Ocean, I’d venture to say...

Wanderlust: Costa Rica Part 2 – Alma del Pacifico

Travel writer Janice Nieder shares her journey traveling across Costa Rica. Read on for travel tips and advice, plus a surprise or two as Janice's adventure continues with Part 2 on Stark Insider ... Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa: This stylish beachside resort is my new “happy place” I‘m not sure if it was the tasteful riot of color that...

Wanderlust: Pure luxury meets unspoiled nature in Costa Rica (Part 1)

Beach in Costa Rica

Travel writer Janice Nieder shares her experience traveling across Costa Rica. Read on for travel tips and advice, plus a surprise or two as Janice's adventure begins on Stark Insider ... Bookended between Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts, visitors will find some of the world’s most immaculate beaches, volcanoes, dramatic waterfalls, and dense rain forests brimming with exotic flora...