Utah’s lesser-known natural wonders

It’s a stark contrast. Thirty minutes ago, I was standing on the rim of Utah’s dramatic Bryce Canyon, looking down at a labyrinth of pink-hued hoodoos, pinnacles and buttresses. Now, I’m on an elevated plateau in nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park, admiring dozens of towering sandstone chimneys. The difference? In Bryce Canyon, every trail wasContinue reading “Utah’s lesser-known natural wonders”

Cross-border cuisine in San Diego and Tijuana

Ask a San Diego local where to find the best Mexican food, and they’ll probably say “Mexico”. The border is only a 45-minute tram ride away and, contrary to public perception, is easy to navigate. After passing through an uninviting prison-style gate labelled “TO MEXICO”, I fill in a simple immigration form, show my passportContinue reading “Cross-border cuisine in San Diego and Tijuana”

Sunset Hummer tour in Moab, Utah

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Dec 1, 2018 “It’s OK to scream,” says Mike. Good to know because I’m about to start wailing like a teething toddler. Ahead of us is a steeply plunging wall of sandstone and we’re going down it. Fast. I can’t see what’s at the bottom but I’m fairly sureContinue reading “Sunset Hummer tour in Moab, Utah”

America’s best restaurant – Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama

Traveller, Sun-Herald, Australia – Nov 18, 2018 According to the James Beard Awards, the prestigious annual celebration of America’s culinary excellence, the US’s best restaurant is not in the gourmet capitals of New York, Chicago or LA, it is in – are you ready? – Birmingham, Alabama. In May, the awards declared Highlands Bar &Continue reading “America’s best restaurant – Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama”

Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Scottsboro, Alabama

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Oct 27, 2018 Thanks to advances in bag-tracking technology, the amount of checked luggage that fails to reach its destination is now less than half a per cent. But given airlines carried more than four billion bags last year, that still means more than 20 million bags went unclaimed.Continue reading “Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Scottsboro, Alabama”

Five new family-friendly attractions in New York

Escape, Sunday Telegraph, Australia – Oct 7, 2018 New Yorkers have a love/hate relationship with Times Square, the dazzling neon-lit intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. On the one hand, it’s home to arguably the world’s most famous theatre district; on the other, it’s a tourist magnet that’s perpetually choked with people. Until recently, itContinue reading “Five new family-friendly attractions in New York”

Chasing giants in California

Sun-Herald, Australia – March 25, 2018 Standing at the foot of a coastal redwood is one of life’s great humbling experiences. It’s not just that it’s the planet’s tallest living thing (the highest known specimen is seven storeys taller than the Statue of Liberty). Or that it can live for 2000 years. It’s the awe-inspiringContinue reading “Chasing giants in California”

In Situ restaurant, San Francisco

  Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Feb 24, 2018 Like most great ideas, the concept behind In Situ is so devilishly simple you wonder why someone hasn’t done it before. Invite a selection of the world’s top chefs to contribute a dish then create a restaurant to showcase them. Headed up by three Michelin-starredContinue reading “In Situ restaurant, San Francisco”

Renaissance of the New York Hotel restaurant

Sydney Morning Herald & The Age, Australia – November 19, 2016 The hotel restaurant used to be something of a last resort. Often housed in a bland, unflatteringly lit space, it was a convenient option when you were too tired to go anywhere else. The menu was normally unadventurous (club sandwich anyone?), the service lacklustreContinue reading “Renaissance of the New York Hotel restaurant”

Local produce in Vail, Colorado

Sydney Morning Herald & The Age, Australia – October 22, 2016 Where do you go to learn how to make moonshine? Moonshine University, of course. Christian Avignon and Ryan Thompson had no experience distilling spirits, so they figured they’d better learn from the best before starting a distillery in the ski resort of Vail, Colorado.Continue reading “Local produce in Vail, Colorado”

Guide to New York sporting events

Escape travel section, Australia – May 3, 2015 New Yorkers love to compete. And they love to watch sports. So it’s not surprising New York is the only American city with more than one team in all five of the country’s most prestigious sports leagues. Whether you’re into American football, baseball, basketball, hockey or soccer,Continue reading “Guide to New York sporting events”

9/11 Museum, New York

The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – June 7, 2014 Of the thousands of artefacts in the new 9/11 Museum, it is the small, everyday items that are the most potent: the charred contents of a visiting English businessman’s wallet, a pair of ballet slippers belonging to Boston Investor Services employee Maile Hale. They personalise theContinue reading “9/11 Museum, New York”

Sleep No More, New York

The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – March 8, 2014 There are two ways to approach Sleep No More, Punchdrunk’s immersive interpretation of Macbeth in New York. You can do what I did and read a dozen reviews, search online for tips and even download a Macbeth study guide to revise on the way there, orContinue reading “Sleep No More, New York”

Rockin’ Running Tour, Memphis

The Sun-Herald, Australia – February 2, 2014 It’s a common holiday conundrum: how do you find time to exercise while you’re away? No one wants to spend hours cooped up in a gym when you could be sightseeing. It’s particularly challenging in a city such as Memphis, with its tempting trifecta of blues, booze andContinue reading “Rockin’ Running Tour, Memphis”

Gibson Guitar Factory tour, Memphis, Tennessee

  The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – October 27, 2013 As a guitar-mad teenager, there was only one thing I wanted for my 18th birthday: a Gibson Les Paul. Immortalised by the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Slash, it was the wannabe rock guitarist’s dream instrument. There was only one problem: a newContinue reading “Gibson Guitar Factory tour, Memphis, Tennessee”

Twenty reasons to visit Boston

  The Sun-Herald, Australia – August 4, 2013 From a walk along the historic Freedom Trail to a day at the baseball at Fenway Park, there is always a lot to do in Boston. 1. FREEDOM TRAIL Boston played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, in which 13 North American colonies broke free fromContinue reading “Twenty reasons to visit Boston”

Servant Life Tour at The Elms, Newport

  The Sun-Herald, Australia – July 28, 2013 Life as the wife of a US coal baron in the early 1900s was a gruelling affair. Every year, Sarah Berwind would leave her New York home to spend the “season” (July and August) at their summer cottage in Newport, Rhode Island. She would partake in aContinue reading “Servant Life Tour at The Elms, Newport”