Why go to Birmingham, Ala.? Because the city with a difficult past will surprise – and even delight

I am wandering inside the Pizitz Food Hall, past grand pillars, under a soaring ceiling, trying to decide what to have for lunch. In the center of the sleek space, a colorful tower of bottles rises behind a marble bar, where at midday, small groups of people are enjoying cocktails. I settle on Nepalese dumplings, which have won out over Israeli falafel, Ethiopian injera, Vietnamese banh mi and something a tad more traditional around here: Southern biscuits.


The do’s and don’ts of traveling with your dog

Thanksgiving will be here soon, which means that it's the beginning of the holiday season. This also means more people are going to be traveling, often with their pets, and an increasing number of hotels are willing to accommodate pets.


Escaping winter in Destin, Fla.

Now that the cold weather has arrived, you might be thinking about ways to escape it. Consistently rated among the best beaches in Florida and in the USA (and even the world), you can't go wrong with a visit to Destin, Fla. Known for it's emerald green yet totally clear water and white "sugar sand" powder soft beaches, Destin will give you the break from reality that you have been craving. If you have yet to make up your mind, let the beautiful scenery, amazing seafood, and endless opportunity for outdoor activities help you arrive to that conclusion.


How to vacation in Scandinavia on a budget

While weighing the destination options for traveling on a dime, Scandinavia, the pricey region in Northern Europe, is an unlikely contender. However, budget airlines continue to lure international visitors with free stopovers and cheap connecting flights. Once you've landed, though, you'll quickly find some of the steepest prices in the world, thanks to high levels of taxation that help provide an enviable quality of life for its citizens. (Most of the Scandinavian countries appear in the top 10 of the United Nations World Happiness Report.) So, how do you travel to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and/or Sweden without blowing a hole in your pocket? Here are some tips for how to experience these beautiful, happy and, yes, expensive countries with as little sticker shock as possible.


Hate lines at the airport? Pay to make them go away

Long lines are the bane of the airline passenger's existence, especially during peak holiday travel. A cascade of them, from check-in to security to boarding, and then through immigration and customs clearance, isn't just annoying: these lines can make you miss your flight, especially if navigating an unfamiliar airport, and more so if you arrive with little time to spare before take off, or your connection is tight.


Travel dilemmas: The age of the tiger traveler

If you're 55 or older, you should research your trip abroad before you go. Also, you should leave copies of your itinerary, passport and contact information with a trusted person on the home front. About now, I picture you shaking your head and asking, "Of course I do these things. Do you think I am dumber than a bucket of hair?" I definitely do not. I'm not sure about the State Department, which included those suggestions on a "Checklist for Older Travelers."

Watch the start of ‘Accidental Climber,’ a new documentary about a Sacramentan’s Everest attempt

“Accidental Climber” is a new documentary about on Sacramento resident Jim Geiger’s attempt to climb Mount Everest at age 68. It will debut Nov. 8, 2018 at the Napa Valley Film Festival.