News & Features by Maria Hart

  • Inside the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London

    You don't have to be obsessed with Harry Potter to appreciate the artistry and magic that went into creating the films.

    Posted by Maria Hart on July 25, 2016 at 12:20:00 PM EDT Tagged: Harry Potter, London, Europe, UK, England
  • 6 Reasons to Go to Nantes, France

    6 Reasons to Go to Nantes, France

    This might just be the whimsy capital of France. Nantes is chockablock with delightful, quirky, colorful discoveries from a Jules Verne-inspired theme park to ornate eateries. And its a breeze to get there.

    Posted by Maria Hart on August 02, 2013 at 4:19:36 PM EDT Tagged: France
  • Long Weekend in Half Moon Bay, California

    Looking for a wine-soaked weekend in California without the crowds? Head south of Napa to Half Moon Bay, where wine is paired with strolls down Main St., sweeping ocean views, and Californian cuisine.

    Posted by Maria Hart on September 06, 2012 at 1:50:44 PM EDT Tagged: San Francisco, California, Winery
  • Retro San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge's 75h Anniversary

    From fireworks displays to foodie tours, there are endless ways to celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Anniversary throughout the year in San Francisco. Here are our top picks.

    Posted by Maria Hart on May 25, 2012 at 2:48:32 PM EDT Tagged: Events, San Francisco, Hotels, Restaurants, Wine, Shopping
  • Celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in London

    Last year belonged to the young royals, but 2012 will belong to the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. And with all these events around London, it's clear she knows how to throw a good party.

    Posted by Maria Hart on May 14, 2012 at 5:49:17 PM EDT Tagged: Events, London, England
  • Tour Toronto like a TIFF Star (on a Fan's Budget)

    September 8th kicks off the red carpet parade otherwise known as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). A-listers hit the city's most elegant hotels, restaurants, bars, and boutiques, but a taste of the high life in Toronto is surprisingly easy to afford.

    Posted by Maria Hart on September 01, 2011 at 12:58:31 PM EDT Tagged: Toronto, Festivals
  • Vienna, with a Modern Twist

    Even with such a rich past, Vienna is still a living city, and the best parts are when that historic past gets muddled with a dose of modern life in a potent cocktail that's very much Viennese.

    Posted by Maria Hart on August 03, 2011 at 1:23:59 PM EDT Tagged: Austria, Vienna
  • Great Travel Gifts Part IV: Stylish Ideas

    Chic travelers often stump the best gift-givers.  Who really needs a leather passport cover?  Don't worry.  Here's a cheat-sheet for those on your list that appreciate a touch of first-class, even when they're flying coach.

    Posted by Maria Hart on December 08, 2010 at 6:30:21 PM EST Tagged: Community
  • 5 Great Romantic Experiences in Prague

    Paris may be the most obvious romantic destination, but there's another P-town that could give France's capital some competition: Prague. Consult the checklist—killer views, a central river, fantastic wine, incredible art, and grand countryside retreats—and you'll see why this city can offer the same dose of l'amour, often at a better price. Here are the top 5 reasons to skip over Western Europe and head to Prague when love is in the air.

    Posted by Maria Hart on August 18, 2010 at 11:02:44 AM EDT Tagged: Prague
  • Trip Idea: Girlfriend Getaway in Orange County

    Fodor's Associate Editor Maria Teresa Burwell recently spent a week soaking in the vitamin D on the shoreline of California's Orange County. Although it has a reputation for family travel and all things Disney, Maria and her friends hit Orange County for a girls' getaway. In between her strict sunbathing schedule, she managed to shop, dine, and pamper herself like a pro....
    Why Orange County? I'd been hearing about the indulgent resorts, spas, and luxury shopping malls, and it sounded like heaven after a long, bleak east coast winter. With my wedding on the horizon, the time was right for a girlfriend getaway....
    What were some of the best places you ate? Like the other ladies in my company, I came to Orange County to indulge. My personal mantra was No Dessert Left Behind. Our first night we hit Splashes, the seaside restaurant in the Surf & Sand Resort, with tables extending right over the beach. We were so close to the ocean that the roar of the waves was deafening, forcing us to shout through...

    Posted by Maria Hart on September 17, 2008 at 11:35:15 AM EDT