Author Archive for Carol Stigger

European river cruises are both dreamy and haunting

European river cruises are both dreamy and haunting

Cruising European rivers on a longboat, which is actually a floating five-star hotel, is an increasingly popular way to experience Europe. The convenience of unpacking once, time to explore port villages seldom mentioned in history books, and maximizing experiential time, cruises give travelers the gift of lingering and wandering. On a Viking cruise from Amsterdam […]

4 Chicago attractions to enjoy now

4 Chicago attractions to enjoy now

The Windy City can hang on to a good thing for its residents and visitors, but some of its attractions are temporary. This spring is an ideal time to see two unique, temporary exhibits, experience a performance that has lasted two decades, and learn more (while eating well) about the oldest grand hotel that has […]

Surprises along the River Rhone in France

Surprises along the River Rhone in France

The 505-mile Rhone River was used by Greek and Roman traders, so today river cruisers can experience antiquity, artistry, history, and some of the best food and wine in Europe. Beginning in Beaune and ending in Avignon, I decided to experience the region by boat and discover both the known and lesser-known charms of a […]

4 ways to avoid human gridlock in Paris

4 ways to avoid human gridlock in Paris

Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.” From the hordes of tourists taking selfies and family portraits in front of famous works of art, it seems most of the world agrees with Hepburn. Surely, the city’s most famous attractions are worth some elbow-knocking and selfie-stick bruises, but sometimes one wants to enjoy Paris […]

4 unusual things to do and see in Vancouver

4 unusual things to do and see in Vancouver

In Vancouver, British Columbia, most visitors head to the renowned Granville Island with its public market, restaurants, and boutique stores. Others stray from the roads most traveled and are surprised at Vancouver’s many attractions. Trolleys and trains, primeval (but passable) forests, native and contemporary art, innovative food, and its island setting make Vancouver one of […]

A rising star: Starved Rock State Park

A rising star: Starved Rock State Park

Utica, Illinois, just 90 miles from Chicago, was hovering beneath the radar except for people living within a two-hour drive. Then, the tiny town of Utica exploded on Flipkey (an offshoot of TripAdviser) besting vacation venues in Dubai, Barbados, Sri Lanka, India, Costal Africa and other well-known places. In the same time period, Utica had […]

6 ways to make your visit to Rome fantastic

6 ways to make your visit to Rome fantastic

A lifetime is not enough to explore Rome – make that several lifetimes. The ancient ruins are still being excavated, restored, and preserved for the next millennium of those who seek the wonders of the Eternal City. On my last of many trips to Rome, I was not surprised to make new discoveries and to […]

Quebec puts the "great" back in "outdoors"

Quebec puts the “great” back in “outdoors”

Utah’s Arches National Park was closed because of traffic gridlock on Memorial Day. Being awed by Yellowstone’s Old Faithful is challenging with parade-size crowds jostling for the same experience. While I patriotically appreciate the beauty and history of America, I also abhor crowds. I found the natural beauty and fascinating museums I was seeking plus […]

Cruise the lower Danube and step ahead of the crowd

Cruise the lower Danube and step ahead of the crowd

Cruising European rivers on a luxurious river boat is becoming one of the most popular ways to explore Europe. The ‘unpack once’ and ‘all meals included’ features save time, money, and energy; shore excursions are included in the fare. Exploring a port city or village on your own appeals to the more adventurous while a […]

5 great Chicago places to not take the kids

5 great Chicago places to not take the kids

From sports to shopping, culture to clubbing, Chicago has attractions for every age and interest. For parents in the Chicago area, visits to the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, and Lincoln Park Zoo are practically mandatory. These are popular sites for school field […]

3 uncrowded towns in Tuscany you'll want to visit (but many don't!)

3 uncrowded towns in Tuscany you’ll want to visit (but many don’t!)

Of course you have to see Florence. Its treasures are worth enduring the hordes of people who want to see what you want to see when you want to see it. The fight for foot space is ongoing during the tourist season, and the lines are daunting. There is always the danger you will become […]

4 fun ways to pass the time when stuck at O'Hare Airport

4 fun ways to pass the time when stuck at O’Hare Airport

Long layovers, flight delays, and cancellations are dreaded words in any traveler’s vocabulary. But being stuck at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport no longer means you are stuck to a plastic seat, stuck in an overcrowded bar, or stuck for hours with nothing to do but wander around the concourses lamenting your luck. Thanks to a well-developed […]

Chicago’s top three hotels for luxurious fun on the Magnificent Mile

Chicago’s top three hotels for luxurious fun on the Magnificent Mile

Three of Chicago’s luxury hotels are situated on the Magnificent Mile’s prime location of Water Tower Place. They have world class spas and attractive swimming pools plus excellent restaurants. They are located above or across the street from some Chicago’s finest shopping venues and two acclaimed theaters: the LookingGlass Theater and the Broadway Playhouse.  The […]

The best places to kiss in Rome

The best places to kiss in Rome

Looking to share an unforgettable kiss in Rome? The Eternal City offers endless enchanting choices for romantic gestures whether you are strolling along the Tiber River or through the ancient Forum. Outdoor markets filled with colorful produce and the enchanting scent of freshly cut flowers are inspiring, and so are corner tables in dim trattorias […]