Archives for 2014

Laughs at Sea: Cruise Ship Comedy Clubs

by Candyce Stapen For many cruise passengers, one of the best parts of their voyage isn’t the elaborate buffets, the casino bets or the booze. It’s the belly laughs. These days, several major lines are showcasing more humor by way of their comedy clubs. Forget about the stuff-food-in-your-face jokes; the performers and the material are […]

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15 Water Parks to Make a Splash at Near Washington

by Candyce Stapen Summer in the city sizzles. At these water and splash parks—our picks for the area’s best—you can cool off by splashing in wave pools, twisting down slides, getting soaked by bucket dumps, and running through sprays. Best Water Park Close to Home At SplashDown Waterpark in Manassas, kids can zip down the […]

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Where to retire: Cape May, NJ

by Candyce Stapen With one of the nation’s best collections of Victorian ‘painted lady’ homes, Cape May has cultural and dining superlatives to help it rise above a typical Atlantic Ocean beachfront locale. THE SETTING IS PERFECTION for the snooping around of the internationally known Victorian-era crime-solving duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Cape May, […]

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Say aloha to authentic Hawaii

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by Candyce Stapen The conch shell call to the ocean, the cascade of a waterfall tumbling in a rainforest, the taste of seared ahi and the lingering resonance of slack-key guitar chords. USA TODAY’s Candyce H. Stapen samples the sights, sounds and tastes of traditional Hawaii on a visit to Maui. Island flavors Hawaii cuisine […]

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Florida’s Best Beaches: East Coast-Gulf Coast Smackdown

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by Candyce Stapen, USA Today It’s the time of the year when visions of sugar soft sands top travelers’ wish lists. Florida, with its 825 miles of beaches, lures sunbathers, surfers, action lovers and solitude seekers to its shores. To find the best Florida strands, USA TODAY hosted an east coast-west coast smackdown. “Dr. Beach,” […]

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Sweet dreams: Valentine’s Day ultra-getaways

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by Candyce Stapen, USA TODAY 7:59 a.m. February 7, 2014 Admire sweeping city views from a private helicopter ride. Dance in a ballroom staged for two. Indulge in a hotel room fragrant with hundreds of roses. Or thrill to fireworks fashioned just for you. Even if you and your sweetie can’t experience these over-the-top Valentine’s Day […]

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Get free admission to national parks on Monday

Assateague Island National Seashore.

by Candyce Stapen, USA TODAY 3:25 p.m. January 17, 2014 Some of the best views in the U.S. look even better when they’re free. Take advantage of nine days of complimentary admission to America’s national parks—the first is Jan. 20—so you can savor the spectacular scenery and discover the history of these unique places. “The […]

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‘Downton Abbey’ tours and teas timed for series’ return

Downton Abbey

by Candyce Stapen, USA TODAY 9:09 a.m. January 3, 2014 It’s not just the characters who develop when the fourth season of Downton Abbey debuts in the U.S. Jan. 5. The popular series has proved fertile ground for a growing cottage industry of getaways, tours and teas designed for fans of the fictional Crawley family and […]

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10 memorable museum sleepovers for kids of all ages

Museum Sleepovers, Field Museum, Chicago

by Candyce Stapen, USA TODAY 12:48 p.m. January 7, 2014 Bond with your kids — or grandkids — on a real night at the museum. You can go undercover on spy missions, learn the secrets of caves, discover the science of igloos, meet live baby bears and beluga whales and take flashlight tours through exhibits […]

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