For great fall color, the mountains of northern New Mexico are certainly in contention for a “best of” award, and an 85-mile byway makes it easy.
Here’s a website that makes choosing a hotel a snap.
What it does: Allows you to drag two hotels onto the page so you can do side-by-side comparisons of price, ratings and reviews as well as night life, dining, shopping and tourism.
What’s hot: I’ve never seen a comparison feature like this on other hotel booking sites — it’s the key to making your decisions easier. You can use additional tools at the top of the page to fine-tune your search by price, amenities, star ratings and more. If you’re not familiar with the area, you can easily open and close a map to see where the hotels are located. If you want to know why one hotel was recommended over the other for dining, click on that topic to read the Yelp reviews.
What’s not: Double-check the prices. I found inconsistencies between search results and prices on the final booking page.
St. Paul, the oldest street in one of North America’s oldest cities, runs through the heart of Old Montreal. It’s barely a mile long, but its first cobblestones predated American democracy, and its restaurants, shops and galleries are tucked into some great old buildings.
And it teems with pedestrians — many of them speaking French, because we are in Canada’s largely Francophone province of Quebec.
I had never seen St. Paul, or the rest of Montreal, until July, when I arrived for a four-night stay near the city’s Old Town area. But every time I spotted another tempting restaurant or gallery, it seemed to be on St. Paul Street. Inuit art. Salt cod croquettes. Echoes of Leonard Cohen.
As fall arrives, leaves turn and temperatures sink, the appeal of those snug spots will only grow.
St. Paul Street dates to the 1670s and “was the center of the fur trade,” said Tyler Wood, a historian and interpretive guide at the Centre d’Histoire de Montréal (335 Place d’Youville;  872-3207, bit.ly/1oEy1id), which has taken over a 1903 fire station about 50 yards from St. Paul.
Mother Nature teased Southern California on Monday with a bit of rain, which may have stirred a genuine craving for the sight, smell and feel of more.
Anyone who goes looking into California mission stories that were written decades ago is likely to come upon some language that’s jarring, if not downright offensive, words such as “savage,” referring to Native Americans.
The more you read, the more you see that, during the last century, California’s textbooks and newspapers have dramatically changed their descriptions of the Spanish mission system. Today, most writers show greater respect for Native Americans and are more likely to acknowledge the forced labor, fatal diseases and cultural repression that the Spanish brought to California along with Christianity, literacy and agriculture.
The result is that when researchers look back at old writings, they not only learn about the 18th and 19th centuries, but they also learn about the writer’s presumptions.
In the archives of the Los Angeles Times, a 1924 article about San Juan Capistrano tells how Father Junípero Serra befriended the American Indians, “some savage, none civilized,” and “soon had them walking in the white man’s path.”
A 1957 article about Mission San Antonio de Padua discusses the padres’ “much more difficult feat of raising the natives to the white man’s level.”
Here’s a smoother, more modern way to book your tee time at golf courses around the world.
What it does: This website lets you plan and book golf games in the United States and 47 countries from your desktop, tablet or mobile device. Create a profile and make a wish list of courses you hope to play.
What’s hot: It’s a tempting site for the destination golfer. Scroll down the home page beneath the search bar to see featured golfing destinations in Da Nang, Vietnam; Cape Town, South Africa; and Hua Hin, Thailand, to name a few. There are plenty of course photos, a map and lists of amenities and weather reports, plus the opportunity for golfers to rate and review the courses à la Yelp or TripAdvisor. Users can make instant bookings in California, Arizona and Nevada.
What’s not: You’re getting just a sneak peek at features. For example, by year’s end you should be able to search by city or individual course rather than by just a list of destinations. Also, there were tabs for “Views and Vistas,” “Caddies” and “Luxe,” among others, but they did not link to a list of results. Hold tight. They’re working on it.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
We just returned from France, where we had the great fortune to end our stay at Ferme de la Vallée, a beautiful B&B about 20 minutes outside of Lyon. The house is owned by Charline and Gilles Lauga (they speak English), who are wonderful hosts and ready with suggestions about what to see in the area. The property was gorgeous with walking paths surrounding the house. Charline makes a beautiful breakfast, and the room is great with private bath. An added plus for animal lovers is the big, friendly Newfoundland dog and four cats
Ferme de la Vallée d’Arche, Route du Mont Thou, Chemin de la Vallée; 011-33-4-26-63-76-32, clauga.free.fr. Rooms from $ 126, breakfast included.
With its typically clear skies and dry weather, Las Vegas is an ideal place to dine outdoors after the sun goes down or when the misters turn on and the umbrellas go up.
Although most visitors to Vegas probably won’t need an excuse to dine alfresco, here’s one, just in case: Sunday is National Eat Outside Day. Forecast: 101 degrees. But it’s a dry heat.
Several restaurants offer front-row seats to let you enjoy the colorful lights, and the equally colorful people, along the Strip.
From street level and perches high above the Strip, restaurateurs will greet Sunday celebrants with food and libations. Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris is offering ringside seats for viewing the throngs as they make their way along Las Vegas Boulevard.
Kitty corner at Caesars, Serendipity 3 is welcoming guests to a recently extended wraparound patio.