Jim Byers photo The third hole at the Princeville Makai course on Kauai. Golfing magic. KAUAI, HAWAII – I have a new favourite golf course. I had a chance to play Princeville’s Makai course on the heavenly north shore of this Hawaiian island the other day. And fell in love. I’ve played some great resort courses in the Caribbean and around the U.S., and a few courses in the British Isles you wouldn’t call a resort course necessarily, but this one is probably the best. The sister course, called the Prince course, gets higher ratings from the golf geeks. It […]

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ISLAND OF KAUAI, HAWAII – A gem of a small town. The most beautiful golf course you can play for pennies. One of the most stunning pieces of geography on the planet. And a wonderful family resort. There are few islands in the world with the kind of diversity you find on Kauai, sometimes known as the Garden Island. I was staying at a lovely family spot on the bustling southeast portion of the island, the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort . It’s got a beautiful, free form pool with a couple of slides and three Jacuzzi tubs, one for families […]

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CHICAGO – This is a town – and a country – that knows how to throw a party. Folks attending the International Pow Wow (U.S. tourism) event here were the recipients Sunday of the kind of treatment usually accosted only to members of the International Olympic Committee. First came a morning reception at the top of the John Hancock Tower/observatory, a 94 th and 95 th floor extravaganza with killer views of this magnificent city on the shores of Lake Michigan. When you’re up here this high, you get a real sense of how wonderful a job they’ve done of […]

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  Jim Byers photo The Hotel Valley Ho is a wonderful, mid-century design in Scottsdale, Arizona. Great for lovers of the Mad Men TV show! SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – A couple days back, I told you about the wonderful Four Seasons Troon North resort in this desert city. It’s a great spot in the hills about a half hour north of downtown, with all low-rise buildings and a real desert feel The Hotel Valley Ho represents a near about-face from the Four Seasons. And in a very good way. The Valley Ho, a trippy 1956 property designed by a disciple of […]

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JIM BYERS PHOTO Check out some of the world’s largest sea cliffs in Slieve League on the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. Jump into Ireland and drive the new coastal route, called the Wild Atlantic Way . Or check out the seacoast, the mountains and the villages of New Hampshire, a surprisingly diverse spot that’s easy to get to. The folks from both destinations brought their displays to Toronto this week to show travel folks some of what’s new and what’s on offer for 2014. And both made some great points. For Ireland, one of the big stories this year is the […]

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SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – This isn’t a state known for its cultural offerings. The Musical Instrument Museum should help change that. I’d heard a bit about the museum from Scottsdale’s tourism folks, although the museum is technically over the city border in Phoenix. But I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did. I wish it was closer to the Scottsdale’s terrific and very walkable downtown, or closer to up-and-coming downtown Phoenix, but it’s still a beauty. The exterior is a handsome and clean design with creamy stone that blends nicely with the desert surroundings. Inside, there’s tons of […]

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SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – The Four Seasons is known as a posh hotel chain. But their product in the Arizona desert outside Phoenix sneaks up on you. There’s no big stand of palm trees at the entrance of the Four Seasons Troon North . No fountains or fancy pools. Instead, as you drive along Alma School Road in the northern part of this lovely resort town, you see a simple brown sign for the hotel. Once you’re on the grounds, there’s a similar vibe. There’s no waterfall or towering banks of flowers, but a natural-looking desert environment that’s true to nature. […]

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