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Lori Rackl Biography

Lori Rackl, who has an insatiable case of wanderlust, writes a weekly travel column that runs in the Sun-Times on Thursdays. She also edits the …

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  • Nature, religion make for a holy hike in Italy’s Piedmont region

    LORI RACKL: Hikers can travel between peaceful sanctuaries — and off the well-worn tourist track — in the Biella region of northern Italy.

  • Beware of ‘bill shock’ when in roam with iPhone, smartphone

    When Dr. John Ellis traveled to Asia this spring, he took along his iPhone to make the occasional call, check e-mail, tap into the Internet for news or to get directions — the usual stuff. About halfway through his 10-day trip, Ellis got a text message in China from AT&T. It said that on one particular day he’d exceeded the data plan’s limit. By a lot.

  • Milwaukee brews up ‘summer of China’

    Can’t travel 6,000-plus miles to China this summer? Settle for the next best thing: a quick trip to nearby Milwaukee. In this Wisconsin city well known for its German roots, Mayor Tom Barrett has declared it the “Summer of China.” He’s even signed an official proclamation to prove it.

    Chicago native sees fish boil as one laughing matter

    Some places and foods are inextricably linked. You can’t come to Chicago without digging into deep-dish pizza. You can’t go to Philly without trying a steak sandwich (unless you’re a vegetarian …) And you certainly can’t visit Door County without going to a fish boil, a Scandinavian tradition that’s permeated this 75-mile long peninsula.

    Staying on the quieter side of the Door

    Located on the quieter side of Door County peninsula (the Lake Michigan side), Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort is a good lodging option — especially for families. The spacious one- and two-bedroom suites come with kitchens, and the 27-acre property has a grill area, playground …

    Exploring Door County by kayak

    A kayak is the best way to see the underwater caves and limestone bluffs lining Door County’s Whitefish Dunes State Park. Kayaking Adventures Door County runs two guided trips a day (weather dependent) to this picturesque part of the peninsula for $50 a person. No …

    First time campers get a helping hand in Michigan

    Nature novices get a helping hand with Michigan’s “First Time Campers” program offered at 18 state parks. For just $20, you’ll get two nights of camping, use of a four-person tent and other necessities, as well as hands-on instruction from veteran campers. You bring the …

    Ground Zero

    W Hotels’ newest New York City outpost is a prime place to stay during next month’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The 217-room W New York - Downtown, which opened last year, overlooks the former World Trade Center site. Even if you don’t …

    Italian town of Sordevolo is all about Passion

    LORI RACKL: Sordevolo in northwest Italy’s Biella province has been staging a Passion play every five years for the past two centuries.

    ‘World’s greatest aviation celebration’ landing in Oshkosh

    EAA AirVenture, billed as the world’s greatest aviation celebration, will land in Oshkosh, Wis., on July 25. The massive event goes through July 31.

    U.S. visits down after Oprah’s visit to Oz

    Tourism boost, or just a phantom of the Oprah? That’s the headline on a story that ran in an Australian newspaper, which questioned the economic benefit of Oprah’s taxpayer-funded tour of Oz last year.

    Playing in the sand on a beach, golf getaway on Kiawah Island, S.C.

    Kiawah Island’s golf courses and pristine beach are big draws to this barrier island off the coast of South Carolina.

    Prepare to party in New Buffalo, Mich.

    Sail over to New Buffalo, Mich., for the annual Ship & Shore Festival, Aug. 12-14. What started 27 years ago as a humble arts and crafts fair has evolved into New Buffalo’s signature summertime event, featuring live music, art vendors, contests and games. A highlight …

    Kickin’ it cowboy style in Fort Worth, Texas

    Once a rough-and-tumble frontier town, Fort Worth now bills itself as “the city of cowboys and culture.” We have plenty of culture here in Chicago. Cowboys? Not so much. And that’s a good reason to grab the kids and head down to Fort Worth. From cattle drives to honky tonks, Fort Worth’s cowboy culture makes it a great family getaway.

    Get a taste of Milwaukee pizza with new tour

    Take a break from Chicago deep dish and get a taste of how they do ’za in Brew City with a new pizza tour by Milwaukee Food Tours. The three-hour evening excursions make stops for a slice at several notable pizzerias, new and old. Cost …

    Milwaukee’s other ethnic fests

    Milwaukee is focusing on China this summer, but the “City of Festivals” is an equal opportunity enjoyer when it comes to international celebrations. Afraid you’re too late this year for the country’s largest Polish festival, which took place last month. And the city’s annual Arab …

    New air service provides faster way to Traverse Bay

    Don’t want to spend over six hours in the car driving to Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay area? Lakeshore Express Aviation recently launched flights between Midway Airport and Pellston Regional Airport in northern Michigan. The one-hour flights on 30-seat planes cost about $200 one-way. Because the …