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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

December 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Take our poll: Should all travel to Cuba be opened up?

There’s a shakeup in the travel world, as President Obama has announced an easing of restrictions on travel to Cuba, part of a general thawing of relations with the island nation. But while the thawing of relations announced Wednesday will allow for family visits, official U.S. government business and educational activities, changes notably do not…

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Comments | More in Tourism industry | Topics: Americans visiting Cuba, Cuba tourism, Cuba travel

December 12, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Flying for the holidays? Don’t miss these survival tips for Sea-Tac Airport

Here’s a roundup from the Port of Seattle of useful information and tips to help travelers navigate Seattle-Tacoma International Airport during the holiday rush: BUSIEST TRAVEL DAYS Listed in order of passenger volume, the projected busiest days will be: Friday, Dec. 19 (110,400 passengers going through the airport) Monday, Dec. 22 (108,100, tie with Tuesday) Tuesday, Dec. 23 (108,100,…

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Comments | More in airports, Sea-Tac Airport | Topics: airport tips, holiday travel, Sea-Tac holiday tips

December 9, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Santa Claus around the world — in photos

Santa Claus is showing up everywhere this time of year, running, surfing, diving, motorcycling and sometimes even going to the dogs. Here’s a look, in pictures, at Santas worldwide.  We’ll keep adding photos of Santa’s travels, so do revisit.       A diver dressed as Santa swims with the fish  at an aquarium in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn…

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Comments | More in Santas of the world | Topics: Santa Claus, Santa fun runs, Santa photos

November 27, 2014 at 6:31 AM

San Juans welcome holidays with new art museum (and bright lights)

Need a pre-Christmas getaway to rest up after a big Thanksgiving family gathering? The San Juan Islands have a full slate of holiday events, with an added cultural bonus: opening of a shiny new art museum in Friday Harbor next week. Friday, Dec. 5, the dramatically renovated new San Juan Islands Museum of Art opens…

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Comments | More in Northwest, Washington state, weekend getaways | Topics: friday harbor holidays, holiday events, san juan islands

November 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

At a glance: Ski areas open Thanksgiving weekend

Are slopes opening for the holiday weekend? Here’s what’s been announced as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. Click on the links for latest updates. WASHINGTON Summit at Snoqualmie: No Crystal Mountain: No Stevens Pass: No White Pass: No Mount Baker: Yes, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, and maybe on weekend Mission Ridge: Chair 1 open with manmade snow,…

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Comments | More in Northwest, ski areas | Topics: Northwest ski areas, thanksgiving skiing, what ski areas are open

November 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Alaska Airlines boosts mileage bonuses

Fighting with mileage plans? Alaska Airlines announced improvements to its frequent-flier program Wednesday, with increased mileage bonuses especially for passengers who buy its  more expensive fares.  It comes as Delta Air Lines and Alaska continue to compete for the Seattle market,  with Delta steadily adding  flights to traditional Alaska-dominated destinations and turning Sea-Tac Airport  into a…

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Comments | More in Alaska Airlines | Topics: Delta, mileage bonuses, mileage plan

November 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Dramatic photos of rampaging waters at Mount Rainier; park reopens Wednesday

WEDNESDAY UPDATE, Nov. 26: Mount Rainier National Park’s Nisqually entrance reopened at 8 a.m. Wednesday after Tuesday’s closure and evacuation of the park’s west side due to flooding. A logjam just above the Kautz Creek culverts on the Nisqually Road, between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire, caused the creek to overflow onto the road Tuesday. A park…

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Comments | Topics: flooding, mount rainier closure, Mount Rainier flooding

November 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Here’s a new list of 10 best and worst airports in America

Love an airport? Hate an airport? See if you agree with Condé Nast Traveler’s new list of “The 10 Best & 10 Worst Airports in America,” as selected by more than 77,000 readers in the magazine’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards. Some of the busiest airports, not surprisingly, made the “worst” list. The “best” list includes one…

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Comments | More in airports | Topics: best airport in America, best airports, PDX

November 24, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Snow close, but Crystal can’t quite open yet for skiing, boarding

Crystal Mountain, Washington’s biggest ski and snowboarding area,  can’t set an opening day yet because of  warmer temperatures, howling winds and rain forecast for this week. The slopes got some nice snow on the weekend, but Tuesday and Wednesday weather, with winds expected to be 50 mph, have prevented ski managers from saying they can open…

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Comments | More in Crystal Mountain | Topics: Crystal, opening date, ski season

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