North America – Travel Stories from Around the World

Below you will find stories written by travellers on their experiences in North America.

USA | Canada | Mexico | Caribbean | Cuba

United States


Burning the Man NEW!
In order to enjoy what Burning Man had to offer, Belinda Tan had to get over her hang ups, shift her mental expectations, stop being tired and learn how to take naps to enjoy the nocturnal activities.

The Mad River Valley and The Pitcher Inn NEW!
Norman Goldman finds beauty and romance in the rural character of Vermont’s Mad River Valley.

Inn On the Alameda, Santa Fe NEW!
After a cattle-car plane ride, a stay at Santa Fe’s Inn On the Alameda was exactly what Laurel Miller needed.

Five Days in Vegas NEW!
With a little encouragement from Hurricane Ivan, Michael Levy made the fated trek to the City of Sin.

Big City Fun with a Small Town Feeling NEW!
Grand Rapids, Michigan isn’t on most people’s list of top ten cities to visit. But that is precisely what makes it a great spot.

Hanalei Colony Resort NEW!
If you want your Hawaii vacation to be a little less manufactured and a little more old school, Laurel Miller says ditch the package tour and head for Kauai’s incomparably beautiful, peaceful north shore.

Eruption Near Mount McKinley
The non-active Mount McKinley wasn’t the thing that erupted during Kevin Burdick’s tour of the mountain.

To Beat the Heat, Don’t Go To Alaska!
Heat seems to follows Kevin Burdick wherever he goes – even Alaska!

Thar She Blows
Fishing trips off Alaska’s beautiful coast can be fantastic – if you have the stomach for ‘em.

The Charm of the Story Inn
Keith Wynne describes the beautiful job done in balancing the opposing objectives of preservation and renovation in a remarkable inn.

La Dolce Vita in Kelowna
Deb Smith describes a splendid winery featured in Architectural Digest and Wine Access as ‘Little Italy.’

Artsy Cleveland
Is Cleveland still a mistake on the lake, or does it really rock? Neilia Sherman reckons the latter.

Along The Road To Hana
On a day drive from Maui, Lee Abbamonte and his girlfriend discover a secluded waterfall, a red-sand beach, and a bunch of naked hippies.

Growing Potential
Often the butt of many bad jokes, Anthony Porco discovers that underrated Newark has some great attractions.

Paradise, Old School Style
The Kaanapali Beach Hotel may not be a five star resort, but it’s the best find in Hawaii, according to Ellen Fairey.

Wilderness Wedding
Courtney Ries would not recommend St. Mary’s Glacier B&B for a wedding, and it wasn’t even her ceremony!

The Inn at Sawmill Farm
Norm Goldman visits this simple, but beautifully restored inn located near West Dover, Vermont.

DC from a Distance
Washington DC resident Melanie Mize Renzulli is baffled by ‘taxation without representation’ in our country’s capital. She is, however, entitled to flash a juvenile gesture at the Commander-in-Chief’s convoy.

Understanding the Lone Star State
Canadian Neilia Sherman finally starts to understand why Texans love the Alamo so much.

VIP’s in Washington
Jerry Lane soon learns that everyone is a VIP in Washington, D.C.

Spring Into Old Palm Springs
Charlie Barrett reviews two of the top hotels in Palm Springs, and the city’s renowned (and fabulous) follies.

An Island Retreat Smack Dab in the Middle of the USA!
Although it’s thousands of miles away from an ocean, a coffee house in Missouri has an island flavor of its own.

Transport Me Around San Francisco
Karen Grosso highlights the best of San Francisco, and how to make the most of your time.

Phoenix: A Romantic Getaway
Norm Goldman discovers Phoenix, Arizona to be very different to other major cities in North America.

Petting Chipmunks
The desert, a testing hike, and wonderful companions will help Philip Blazdell treasure his memories of Joshua Tree National Park.

Youth Hostel Days: the Secret of Angelina
One woman represents the best and the worst of Alex Sharp-Cole’s hostel days.

Hausing Done Right
One of Kay Bozich Owens’ best hostel experiences didn’t occur in the hostel mecca of Europe but in tourist town, USA.

Sedona and Los Abrigados Resort & Spa
Norman Goldman and his wife Lily visit the mystical southwest town of Sedona, Arizona.

Glitz, Sparkle, Money, and Chance
Amy Lau gives the ins, outs and tricks to the East Coast’s answer to Las Vegas.

Alaskan Snapshot
Jill Homer’s quest for the perfect photograph doesn’t require idyllic smiles or even clean clothes.

Visiting Vegas (Italian Style)
Karen Grosso tries to tour the saintly side of Vegas, incorruptible Italian mother in tow.

Short Bus Florida Flopdown
Rich Gladding finds bedbugs, chickens and swarming tourists on his trip to Flordia’s finest.

Maui Fever
From poor customer service to an awful hostel, nothing seemed to work right for David Robinson on his trip to Maui, Hawaii.

A Romantic Sojourn to Recharge, Refuel and Refresh Your Spirit
Scottsdale is the one the Arizona’s hidden treasures. Norman Goldman details some of the can’t miss attractions.

Train Weddings
According to Norman Goldman, there is no better backdrop for a wedding than on a train overlooking the Grand Canyon.

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
Norman Goldman visits Phoenix and recounts the highlights – especially the gastronomical pleasures.

L’auberge de Sedona
The L’Auberge de Sedona hotel blends classical and traditional design influences of the French and American Southwest to create one of the most romantic resorts in Arizona.

Where Y’At?
Throw two million people together for four days, on a one mile stretch of road, add dirt, garbage, alcohol, and debauchery; and what do you have? Mardi Gras!

A Perfect Drive
In search of good outdoor fun, Eric Lehman and his wanderless friends, end up finding their best adventures while driving aimlessly.

I Will Travel Again!
Harry Z offers a testimonial to the powers and wonders of traveling.

Casa de Solana
Norman Goldman and his wife, Lily, learn a little bit about history, and a little bit about romance, in St. Augustine, Florida.

Casa De La Paz
Norman Goldman and his wife, Lily, manage to avoid ghosts – for the most part – while roaming around one of Florida’s most historic towns.

Palm Island: Florida’s Last True Island
Norman Goldman and his wife, Lily, visit Palm Island – perhaps the most untouched island off Florida’s coast.

Sand or Surf or the Central Coast Wine Country?
Charlie Barrett spoils himself rotten in three small towns of Southern California.

The Virgin Burn
Meaghan O’Neill is in Black Rock City, a remote Nevada desert that is built from scratch and then completely destroyed.

Yes, We Have No Burritos
The real way to the heart of Santa Barbara, Meaghan O’Neill discovers, is through its stomach, particulary a certain taqueria.

Beyond Bourbon Street
Nick Fox encourages visitors to New Orleans to step beyond the usual and delve into the real Big Easy.

Miracle to Branson
Traveling on a tight, scenic road, Lena Hunt Mabra’s overstuffed car started shedding it’s contents – a mattress, chairs, the grill!

The Tale of the Garbage Drop
Eric D. Lehman learned the only way to live free and true was to turn the ordinary into the sublime and the sublime into the miraculous.

Spring Signals the Return of the Swallows
Chris Millikan returns to San Juan Capistrano not only for the tiny birds, but also to drift back to a much different time in California’s history.

Once a Year Climbing Bums
Jesse Grant takes one trip a year with his best friend and cousin to indulge their love of climbing. This year’s trip had everything.

The River Green
Sheila Lamb’s dream of a few days on a raft with a Park Service boy didn’t quite work out the way she imagined.

A Journey of a Different Kind
Kip Patrick space travels in the confines of a refrigerator-sized cardboard box not long ago discarded by someone who thought it was plain old trash.

Going Nowhere
Kip Patrick imagines he is somewhere else, anywhere other than where he is.

Tracking Down Havana’s Music Scene
Cuba has wonderful music, but you have to look particularly hard if you want to dance, according to Douglass Norvell.

Travels in Cuba – Cigars, Salsa and Hemingway
Celine O’Malley went to Cuba and left with an odd feeling – she couldn’t live there but it was heartbreaking to say goodbye.

Cruising in Cuba
Cuba does not have a car museum. It is a car museum.

Illegal Travel to Cuba?
Prior to going to Cuba illegally with three friends, David Wilkening pondered the stamp question. Do they or don’t they stamp your passport?

La Salsa Cubana Experience
Travelling to experience Cuban music and dance, Cherie Magnus found Cuba to be vastly different from previous solo trips to Latin America.

Winter in Cuba
The trickle-down effect from the tourist dollars is actually working as predicted by Fidel (roll over Ronald Reagan).

Trip to the Tropicana
A visit to the famous Club Tropicana is a must for all travellers to Cuba, even good eco-tourists.

Havana Nights
The days are getting noisier in Havana as budding commerce has its effect.

Gaviota, The Last Cowgirl in Cuba
The crack-down on "free" enterprise is in full swing. How long will the Cuban people put up with this crap?

Iowa Yankee in King Castro’s Court
The only way to settle a debate on life in Cuba is to actually go there.


Mexico

¡Goal Veracruz! NEW!
After listening to a Mexican Pop Idol contestant sing in the central square, it’s no surprise she didn’t last long in the competition.

Tacos, Tequila and Too Many Late Nights NEW!
On a trip to the heart of Mexico, Kiwi Lydia Brown hangs out with a Mexican witch doctor with a fetish for dramatic classical music. Go figure.

The Reluctant Toilet
Toilet specialist Travis Ashby gives frank advice on becoming friends with a Mexican toilet.

Over Copan Out
Chris Matcham is astounded by the impressive Aztec and Maya ruins in Mexico and Honduras. After too much ‘stone-watching,’ he is ready to call it quits.

Love on the Road
Meeting that special someone on the road can be wondrous, amazing and heartbreaking, as Jaques Caramac learned in Mexico.

Caribbean Black
Lena Hunt Mabra discovers that a rare storm in Cozumel has the power to flood rooms, shut down activities and even change the color of the ocean.

Killing Kathi in Vallarta
While visiting Puerto Vallarta, Zelda Wilbert gives practical advice on maximizing those time-share presentations.

Impressions of Mexico
Journeying through the countryside of Mexico, Englishman Christopher Matcham assimilates to the nuances of Mexican life, while dreaming of a solid stool.

Grasping Strange Tongues
Shawn Cooley’s first ‘real’ trip to a foreign country teaches him the universal language of compassion and friendship.

Cozumel Kisses
Lena Hunt Mabra has to fight back laughter as two men try their very best to impress her.

The Two Chamizals
In five short hours, thanks to an agreement and a park made in the name of international understanding, Tony Porco and his wife managed to sample Mexico with fun and a memorable experience.

Looking for the Real Thing
David A Robinson went to Mexico looking for original handcrafted items. He wanted to determine what is artistic quality and what is mass produced.

In the Path of Stars
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has transformed itself into one of the most attractive beach getaways on the Mexican Pacific. Erika Lorentzsen was determined to glimpse what all the hoopla was about.

Viva Mexico
From the natural beauty of the countryside, to the crowded markets, to the wild parties, Cancun is a place Christopher StLawrence will never forget.

The Spirit of the Maya
L. A. Vess experienced moments of connection to the past amid the ruins and mysteries of the Maya in Chich�n Itz�.

From X to Z: Between the Two Worlds of Ixtapa and Zihuatenejo
Nick Fox found that though Zihuatenejo may be a tourist town, it is a tourist town on its own terms.

A Simple Matter of Supply and Demand>
Pickett Porterfield’s preconceived notion of Mexico and Mexicans was proved incorrect. Find out what happened.

The Coffee King of Irapuato
Pickett Porterfield will remember the high point of his year in Irapuato: spirited conversations on Luis’s sunny balcony, over steaming cups of coffee.

Two Towns, Two Worlds
Take a cab up into the hillsides, writes Nick Fox: you will see Ixtapa’s large hotels, but you will hardly notice Zihuatenejo. Find out why.

2003 Guadalupe Adventure
Patric Douglas cage dives for the first time in Great White Heaven.

Great White Heaven
Follow Bill Fisher as he travels to the world’s newest great white shark hotspot.

A Taco Stand Survival Kit
Dan DeCoursey finds that hitting the streets for tacos entails more than supporting ‘the little guy.’ It means meeting him, shaking his hand, maybe even eating with him.

The Field Trip
After experiencing the Mexican state of Michoacan with a tour group, Cherie Magnus knew she would return – alone.

Bugging Out with the Hostel Virgin
Luckily, Mexico is a treasure that can accommodate both Julie Guyot and her travel partner.

Don’t Eat The Green Cake
Nelson Bayne doesn’t know how he did it, but the same telepathic cabdriver was ready to take his group every time they walked outside.

Treasure of Sierra Madre
David Wilkening describes his train trip through the Copper Canyon as a schizophrenic one – luxurious and rugged.

Guadalajara and Beyond
Ajay Nityananda finds the five-hour drive over the Sierra Madre Occidental to be the most beautiful land he has ever seen.

24 Hours in Puerto Escondido
If the vibrant mayhem of Mexico City has worn you out, Alex Black recommends a little place on the south coast that’s custom-made for chilling you back out again.

Fear and Loathing in Palenque
David Virgili has an intense experience in the Mayan ruins as he and his friends wander around under the influence of hongos magicos.

Auto Mexico
Cherie Magnus found that car trouble is as fascinating a Mexican experience as the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan.

Heart of Fire
Cherie Magnus always enjoyed a wood fire but found she needed it for more than aesthetic and emotional reasons in a Mexican winter.

Mexico, Christmas Milagros, and Me
Cherie Magnus found serendipity is a way of life in San Miguel de Allende and it helped her have a Feliz Navidad and an incredible Benvenidos a Mexico.

Shark Diving Guadalupe
If you poll 10 divers and ask them where to find Great White Sharks chances are they’ll tell you South Africa or Australia. All that changed in 1999 with a new and exciting discovery in the Pacific off the coast of Mexico and California.

Dreaming of Oaxaca
Lee Arnold heard the voice of an ancient Zapotec god in a dream beckoning him to Oaxaca. He booked the next available flight to Mexico.

Highway Tales: Bandidos and Breakdowns
Kirk Stephan continues his travels on Mexican Highways, running into reasonable bandits and hidden speed bumps.

The Last Easy Day
Most people view the Copper Canyon from the comfort of a train carriage. Leanne Wells and her husband saw it from the perspective of the local Tarahumara Indians as they hiked through part of it.

Horseback Through the Sierra Madres
A few days’ ride might leave John Russell saddlesore, but the landscape’s beauty and the hospitality of friends make it all worthwhile.

What I Learned From the Cows
Moving to Mexico to work on his writing, Brad Newsham struggled with his book until he learned a lesson from the cows.

Learning is Fun under the Sun near the Maya Playa
Eric Morgan invites you to take an educational adventure through history and back at the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza.

Yucatan Byways
Fred Perry and his son David take you through space, all around the Yucatan Peninsula, and time, from the era of the Mayas to today.

The Usual Suspect
So you’re at the US/Mexico border, and Customs wants to give you a shake-down. Cakewalk, says Craig Guillot.

10 Tips for Crossing the Border
You too can cross the border just fine. Just keep Craig Guillot’s advice in mind…

A Faraway Place
Tucked away in the southernmost corner of México, the area called the Soconusco is almost tourist free.

Into the Belly
A journey to the belly of the Earth finds a remarkable gem called Batopilas, Mexico.

Millennium in the Copper Canyon
A special trip to the Copper Canyon for the millennium goes all wrong after a missed bus stop.

Monterrey
Joe Ehrlich ventures into Mexico for the weekend and comes home with some smelly garlic and more pecans than he knows what to do with.

The Soul of Puerto Vallarta
Duane Grandbois remembers well the infectious friendly spirit of the people in this Mexican village.

Mexico in a Flash
Getting off the beaten track down the Gulf Coast doesn’t mean you can’t watch the footy.

Highway Tales: The Final Report
The final installment from Kirk Stephan as he uncovers a scandal of the phantom rebellion.

Highway Tales: Cancun-Palenque
Third installment from Kirk Stephan as he continues his drive through Mexico – Cancun to Palenque.

Highway Tales: Post Crash
Second installment from Kirk Stephan as he continues his drive through Mexico – San Miguel de Allende to Cancun.

Highway Tales: Crash Boom Bam Blocking Blues
If you don’t block your blues and pull in front of speeding trucks, you’ll have a marvelous time down here!

Copper Canyon Diary
Exploring the famous canyon from a comfortable base, there are opportunities to do some challenging hikes.

Mexico siempre Mexico
The life and times of a travelling academic as he wings his way to Mexico from Japan.

Mexico Trains, Mexico
The services may have changed, but the schedules stay the same.

Copper Canyon, Mexico
Buses and trains from San Diego to the Copper Canyon and back.

 


For international travelers visiting the USA, check out the San Diego Travel Guide by our friends at USA Tourist.

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