Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Mesh Makes a Magnificent Mix in Indianapolis

Mesh, IndianapolisOn the recommendation of the friendly folks at the visitor center in Indianapolis, Indiana, I headed to an early dinner at Mesh. The name truly reflects the cuisine, a creative blend of ingredients that you may not intuitively combine, but, once assembled, transform into an excellent meal. Read about it >


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British Columbia’s Best Buildings

Sun Tower, Vancouver, British ColumbiaFrom its rugged Pacific coastline to its dramatic Rocky Mountain spine, British Columbia is one heck of a beautiful Canadian province, ideal for athletes and nature lovers. But urbanites shouldn’t feel excluded in this vast, wild region. They’ll feel right at home in the two largest cities, Vancouver and Victoria, that teem with cultural events as well as some impressive architecture. Read about the top five buildings in British Columbia >


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Through The Looking Glass (Inn) and Into a Resplendent Past

The Looking Glass Inn, Indianapolis, IndianaI could have stayed at a new hotel in the heart of Indianapolis, but I was repeatedly drawn to a stunning historic district a mile or two from various points downtown. I was confronting a tradeoff: Stay in the more convenient downtown to have easy access to many of the city’s key attractions and restaurants but lose out on character and charm, or stay in a genteel neighborhood evocative of the city’s golden age but spend more time traveling to and from the city’s main sights. One glance at The Looking Glass Inn made the decision to choose the latter simple. Read about it >


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B-Town’s Best Thai

Bloomington, Indiana, was jumping. Indiana University was hosting an outdoor science fair and recruitment drive that kept its gorgeous campus lively, spilling down popular Kirkwood Avenue. Eventually I made my way to the downtown square and grabbed an early outdoor dinner at Blooming Thai, a family-run business that brings its traditions and recipes from Thailand to hungry diners in Indiana. Read about it >


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An Indianapolis Standby for Food Lovers of All Ages

Harry & Izzy's, IndianapolisIn the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, Harry & Izzy’s attracts an eclectic clientele, from businessmen in suits from the nearby office towers to ladies out for a retirees’ lunch to high school students from across the United States in town for a convention for future farmers. Like me, they were attracted to this upscale American grill that prides itself on a fine menu and refined service amid a sophisticated setting. Read about it >


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Elegance and Luxury in a Small Ohio Village

Fireplace, Granville Inn, Granville, OhioI couldn’t decide on an accommodation in Columbus, Ohio, for a two-night stay. Nothing clicked. Nothing called out to me, “This is the place to stay.” So, after an exhaustive search, I expanded my geographical limits. As soon as I came across Granville Inn, about a half hour east of Columbus, I immediately knew I had found what I was hunting for. And it didn’t disappoint. Read about it >


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Why Not Minot?

Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, North DakotaA one-way, 100-mile detour from Bismarck, North Dakota, north to Minot (closer to the Canadian border than to the state capitol) didn’t seem even remotely unreasonable once I discovered that the Scandinavian Heritage Park is located in this northern city. With nearly 40% of its population claiming Scandinavian ancestry, it’s the perfect place for the park—and for me to indulge my ongoing obsession with everything Nordic. Read about it >


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An Old Tavern That Keeps Itself New

The second-oldest bar in Indianapolis traces its roots back to 1887. Today, Tavern at the Point is a friendly, neighborhood watering hole where locals and visitors like me gather for a drink or two and some solid, contemporary gastropub food. Read more about it >


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Food With a Mood

Chaophraya, Glasgow, ScotlandThroughout my travels, I’ve eaten in a vast variety of settings. Some of them would hardly classify as formal, although the quality of what they served was shockingly good: the stand in Bergen, Norway, that peddled a delicious Jagtwurst, the street cart in Uppsala, Sweden, with the sweetest raspberries imaginable, the barbecue joint in Brooklyn with brown-paper placemats that served astoundingly tender pulled pork. But sometimes I crave something unique—a restaurant with atmosphere and an unmistakable sense of place and history that supplements the dining experience to such a degree that I’m still able to recall it fondly decades after I went here. Read about the top five atmospheric restaurants >


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When the Theater Itself Is the Star of the Show

Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GeorgiaIn the golden age of movie theater construction in the United States between 1910 and the 1940s, moviegoers were treated not only to the featured film, but also a host of collateral offerings, from live music accompaniments to shorts to news reels. And they got to enjoy all of it in sumptuous surroundings that puts modern multiplexes to shame. It’s like comparing watching a movie in a palace to watching one in a boxcar. One theater that brought unimaginable opulence to the general public was Atlanta’s Fox Theatre—an intended Shriners auditorium turned movie palace that went bankrupt less than three years after opening in 1929 and ultimately faced the wrecking ball. Today, it’s one of Atlanta’s most beautiful attractions. Read about Fox Theatre >