VIA Staff's blog

Protecting State Parks

National Parks get a lot of attention. They are the divas and pop stars of the country’s parks. But often just as amazing and precious are our state parks, some of which may be almost literally at your back door.

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I Pick, U-Pick: California Fruit Farms

Here’s a sampling of farms to get you out and pickin'. Call ahead to the individual farms to find out what juicy produce has come in.

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Historic Hotels: Belly up to the Bar

While researching and writing VIA's story about historic hotels, I wasn't surprised to find that four of the five featured properties boasted great watering holes.

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Yellowstone National Park: Wildlife Viewing

From early May to mid-June, visitors can see the park at its best with wildflowers, T-shirt weather, active wildlife, and mostly quiet roads.

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Granville Island’s Bounty of Food: Bistro 101

A blogger eats his way through Granville Island, near downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Featured Destination: Phoenix Fun and Food

The springtime pleasures of Phoenix, Ariz., lured writer Kristen Haney. Feted by the local visitors bureau, she embarked on a travel spree that included hiking, touring an olive mill, taste-testing beer, and playing strange musical instruments.

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The Musical Instrument Museum

When I first walked into Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum, the plucking of discordant strings and the resonating thumps of a gong beckoned to me from a door down the hall.

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Phoenix's South Mountain Park

Outdoor activities abound in Phoenix, but none capture the accessibility of nature quite like a springtime hike on one of the city’s many mountains.

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Queen Creek Olive Mill

The dry heat of the Sonoran desert makes Queen Creek, Ariz., a town neighboring Phoenix, seem like an unlikely place to find a flourishing olive farm. My misconceptions were dashed after a leisurely afternoon at Queen Creek Olive Mill.

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Phoenix-Scottsdale Burgeoning Food Scene

When I think of foodie destinations, Arizona doesn’t typically leap to mind. But the southwestern dining scene is experiencing a shift in its culinary landscape.

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