Mangrove, Key West, FL (Photo: Getty Images/E+)

A boat tour on the waters of Everglades National Park has our own Julianne Lowell seeing the Florida Keys in an entirely new light. ... read more»

Children Playing on a Fallen Tree Branch, Yosemite National Park, CA (Photo: Getty Images/Stone)

Mark your calendar, campers, trekkers, and wanderers: From April 19th to 27th, National Park Week is back.

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that all 401 national parks will kick off the week with free admission on the 19th and 20th. Some locations will also host special events and programs (check out a calendar of events to start planning).

This year's theme is "Go Wild," emphasizing the diversity of the park system's landscapes, wildlife, and adventure activities. Embrace the spirit by visiting the glacial lakes of Montana. Or try snorkeling the coral reefs of the Virgin Islands. How about stargazing the night skies of Far West Texas?

... read more»
(Photo: Spirit)

Given Spirit Airlines' track record of bad-taste ads and seemingly gleeful neglect of customer goodwill, you'd think the company's attitude toward negative attention was some variant of "Any publicity is good publicity."

It turns out that's true up to a point, but not beyond. That point was apparently reached and exceeded last week with a story in this space about the latest U.S. PIRG Education Fund report, which found that Spirit was the most complained-about U.S. airline. By far. ... read more»

Uluru, Australia (Photo: Caroline Morse)

Staying at Longitude 131 is like camping without really camping, which is perfect for those of us who like our creature comforts (and running water). ... read more»

Map of Europe with Pushpins (Photo: Shutterstock)

Take our quiz to find out which European nation you should be calling home. ... read more»

Can the cramped, dismal interior of a legacy aircraft ever pass for a well-appointed hotel suite? American thinks so.

The airline is retrofitting its fleet of 47 Boeing 777-200ER jets this year, removing first class and rolling out a two-class cabin experience. There will be an economy section (with some roomier Main Cabin Extra seats) and a business class—a deluxe business class where duvet-swaddled passengers are referred to as "guests" and seats are called "beds."

Like a hotel suite. A very costly and tiny hotel suite that flies in the sky and probably smells if it's anywhere near the bathroom.

According to Marisa Garcia of Skift, who talked to representatives from American at Aircraft Interiors Expo this week, "As they describe the design details of their cabins, we notice the subtle choice of vocabulary. They're not business-class seats but business-class 'suites' with Suite ID panels instead of seat numbers on the side where 'guests' can request privacy by lighting up their 'Do Not Disturb' signs." ... read more»

Cruise: Ship with Plane Overhead (Photo: Shutterstock/Pablo Scapinachis)

Enter the AARP Dream Vacation sweepstakes by May 25 for a chance to win one of six weekly grand prizes. Among them: a trip for six to Disney World, including air, five nights' hotel, Disney tickets, some meals; a trip for two to Riviera Maya, Mexico, including air, four nights' hotel; a Caribbean cruise for two, including air; and a trip for two to Hawaii, including air, three nights' hotel in Honolulu, three nights in Maui, four nights in Kauai, and a rental car.

To enter, register on the sweepstakes landing page. Time required to participate: less than 60 seconds. ... read more»

American Airlines aircraft tail (Photo: American Airlines)

Starting later this year, American will begin gradually reconfiguring its fleet of 47 Boeing 777-200ER jets. The planes will be fitted with a host of enhancements. What they won't have, however, is any first-class seating.

The current configuration, with 16 first-class seats, 37 business-class seats, and 194 coach seats, will be replaced with 45 business-class seats, 45 Main Cabin Extra seats (coach seats with up to six extra inches of pitch), and 170 regular coach seats. ... read more»

Airport security check sign (Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Stephen Finn)

A woman named Sherry Wright is claiming that the TSA turned away her disabled sister from boarding a flight because the mute flyer could not speak with the agent. The NY Post reports that Sherry's sister, Heidi, is wheelchair-bound and incapable of speaking due to a stroke. ... read more»

Farmers Market, Italy (Photo: Rick Steves)

When I'm in Italy, I generally eat only Italian food. I doubt there's another country in Europe (except France) that could hold my palate's interest so easily.

Italians are passionate about food. Cuisine is like a religion—and it's the quality of the ingredients that's most sacred. They tell me French cuisine is the art of making a fine sauce to cover the taste of mediocre ingredients. In Italy, they say, "La miglior cucina comincia dal mercato" ("The best cuisine starts from the market"). When a chef comes out to chat with diners, ingredients are often the topic of conversation (which can become an animated debate): "Arugula is not yet in season. But, oh, Signora Maria has more sun in her backyard, and her chickens give her a marvelous fertilizer." ... read more»

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