Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Big Flavors at Big Water Grille

My family was celebrating both the pending nuptials of my brother, and my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. So seven of us converged on Big Water Grille, a fantastic restaurant that has been tucked into the mountains in Incline Village, Nevada, for more than 20 years. Overlooking Lake Tahoe from the northeast, the views vie with the menu, and you’ll love both equally as you celebrate a special occasion, or no particular occasion at all. Read about Big Water Grille >

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Vicksburg National Military Park: The Civil War and a Lesson in Division

Arkansas Monument, Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MississippiThe threat of yet another idiotic government shutdown in Washington, D.C., was endangering my plan for the next day while I was traveling around Mississippi. If the shutdown proceeded, national parks would close, and I had already planned to spend multiple hours at Vicksburg National Military Park. Fortunately, saner heads prevailed, the shutdown was averted, and I found the gate to the park opened when I arrived — the entrance into one of the top Civil War historic sites in the United States. Read more about it >


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Meals That Match the Mood in Glacier National Park

Ptarmigan Dining Room, Glacier National ParkI was tucked about six miles inside Montana’s spectacular Glacier National Park, not far from the Canadian border, staying in a rustic room in Many Glacier Hotel, the largest hotel in the park. Sprawling along the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake, the hotel has been seducing travelers here since 1915, lured by its Alpine style, staggering views of some of the most pristine nature in the United States, nearness to wildlife, and myriad outdoor activities. If all that weren’t enough to entice you here, the hotel boasts an outstanding restaurant that perfectly caps your day spent in the wilderness. Read about the Ptarmigan Dining Room >


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Memorials to Remember

Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery, AlabamaOn the last Monday of every May, Americans celebrate Memorial Day, a national observance of the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Of course, other countries have their own version of this day, and throughout the world you’ll see memorials dedicated to those who have fought for their country. Although war seems to be the most popular subject, it doesn’t hold a monopoly on memorials, which could commemorate anything from a famous leader to a national movement. Read about the top five memorials >


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Devon: A Standout Seafood Restaurant in Philadelphia

After spending the better part of the afternoon strolling around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I sought a little relaxation in the inviting Rittenhouse Square, one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn and created in the late 1700s. On a shade-covered bench, I admired the floral displays around me, watched a wedding photo shoot, and enjoyed the antics of the adorable dogs parading by me. When I had had my fill of people-watching, I was happy to find my dinner destination just across the street at Devon Seafood Grill, often considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the city and one of the top 100 places to dine out of more than 4,000 Philadelphia restaurants. Read more >


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Missoula Minus the Mountains: The Best Buildings to See When Smoke Erases the Views

The Babs, Missoula, MontanaWhile spending a couple of weeks in some of the most beautiful parks in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, I took a city break with a couple of days in Missoula, Montana. The smoke from forest fires hung in the air, giving the city an ashy-gray tint that obliterated the views of the mountains. Up close, however, Missoula’s most attractive buildings stand out, and when the smoke clears, you really get to see why this city and its architecture — whether in the historic districts, downtown, or on the campus of the University of Montana — are so attractive. Read more about the top five buildings in Missoula, Montana >


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Visiting the Best Churches in Detroit, Michigan

Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Detroit, MichiganConsistently ranked among the top 10 U.S. cities known for their architecture, Detroit, Michigan, boasts a wide variety of fantastic structures: private mansions, corporate skyscrapers, legendary hotels and theaters, and spectacular churches. This latter group has been painfully decimated by retreating populations, but, although their congregations may have withered, their edifices remain stalwart evidence of the city’s admirable built environment. Read more about the top five churches in Detroit >