Articles by Susan Spano

Smithsonian Best Small Towns 2013

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013

From the blues to the big top, we’ve picked the most intriguing small towns to enjoy arts and smarts

What to do with leftover foreign currency? Give it to UNICEF’s Change for Good.

Hey, Travelers, Got Any Spare Change?

Now I know what to do with my jar of Turkish liras, Cambodian riels and Irish 50-pence pieces

Square Tower House at Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde’s Mary Jane Colter Collection (But Don’t Call it That)

Among the treasures that will be on display when the park's new museum opens later this year are 30 pieces donated by the legendary architect

A map of Chicago, Illinois, imprinted in 1913 from the United States Geographical Survey’s historical topographic map collection.

A Treasure Trove of Old Maps at Your Fingertips

Soon, all of the United States Geographical Survey's old topographical maps will be available online

The Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of New York

NYC

A Short Walking Tour of New York’s Lower East Side

Known as Klein Deutschland circa the 1860's, the Lower East Side had the 5th largest German-speaking population among cities in the world at the time

Makana Mountain, Honolulu

Flower Children on the North Shore of Kauai

In the late 1960s, a gorgeous stretch of beach in Ha’ena State Park was the site of a hippy haven called Taylor Camp

Delacroix’s La Liberté to be on display at the new Louvre-Lens museum in the Pas-de-Calais

The Louvre Museum Is Having a Baby!

This December the French town of Lens will be welcoming a new branch museum of the Louvre

The Hotel Metropole, opened in 1901, reflects the French colonial era in Vietnam.

A Trio of French Colonial Sites in Hanoi

In Vietnam's capital you can still find many examples of French colonial architecture, including St. Joseph's Cathedral and the luxurious Hotel Metropole

The prized Fliers' and Explorers' Globe at the American Geographical Society

The Greatest Globe on Earth

Now kept at the American Geographical Society in New York, the globe is precious not for its age or beauty, but for the explorers who signed it

The zocalo in Oaxaca, Mexico, blocks away from the Hotel Las Golondrinas

For a Happy Hotel Experience, Take the Middle Road

Neither too luxurious nor too austere, mid-range inns are often a great choice for travelers. Here are some of my favorites in Europe, Mexico and Morocco

The exterior of the Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg

A Toast to the Astoria Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia

A Russian icon in the Art Nouveau style on St. Isaac‘s Square near the Neva River, the Astoria evokes a Belle Époque world gone by

Huahine in the South Pacific

Prospero’s Island in the South Pacific

Was it Bermuda—or the dreamy French Polynesian island of Huahine—that inspired the setting for Shakespeare's The Tempest?

Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India

Jaipur via The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A delightful new film takes viewers to India’s picturesque western state of Rajasthan

The campus of UC Santa Barbara is on the coast at Isla Vista.

Summer Vacation on Campus

Looking for unique, fun, inexpensive lodging? Stay in a university dorm

A few old honeymoon hotels linger on in the Pennsylvania Poconos.

Passion in the Poconos

Home of the heart-shaped tub, the Pennsylvania mountains once rivaled Niagara Falls as a honeymoon destination

The Druid Arch in Canyonlands National Park

Travelers’ Tales in Utah’s Canyonlands

The trail is rough and hard to follow, marked chiefly by cairns; water is intermittent; and if something bad happens help is not at hand

A European tour via Volvo

Take a Vacation on Volvo

Once you get your car you’re free to hit the road along the west coast of Sweden with its fishing villages, traditional folkways and islands

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A Medieval Castle in the Making

The construction of a medieval fortress in France is answering important questions about 13th-century building techniques

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There's No Place Like Naples for Pizza

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There’s No Place Like Naples for Pizza

Forget Chicago deep-dish, Roman pizza bianca and Domino's. For the best, most authentic pizza, go to Napoli