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Scott S. Smith
Scott S. Smith is a freelance travel writer specializing in exotic cultural and historic destinations. He has written 150 articles for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Porthole, and AAA magazines. His latest books can be found at and

Entries by Scott S. Smith

Hollywood's Adventure In Architecture

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 10:51 PM

Visitors to Los Angeles often miss the literally biggest stars because they're looking for names on the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame. Somehow, L.A.'s buildings, with their fantastic details, construction innovations, astonishing variety, and colorful pasts haven't put it on the map of architecture aficionados (though tours to...

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The Magnificent Maya of Guatemala

(16) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 3:19 PM

You've probably never thought about going to Guatemala, so it will come as a surprise to be told that in a few years it is going to one of the world's hot destinations (that is, for anyone bored by lying on beaches, eating at restaurants, and shopping at malls that...

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The Revolution at Colonial Williamsburg

(3) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 9:14 AM

If you think Colonial Williamsburg is the Republican Disneyland, you haven't been there in a while.

The nation's largest living history center near Newport News, Va., once had that reputation in the way it depicted the American Revolution: white men waving flags and guns. But that's been banished, along...

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South Africa and the Worldwide Web of Life

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 1:34 PM

When I interviewed iconic comic actor Bob Newhart in 2007 for AARP: The Magazine, I asked what his favorite vacation of all-time was. "I recently went on a safari in South Africa and it was like going back to the Garden of Eden," he responded, the memory lighting up his...

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Northern India's Golden Triangle

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 8:00 AM

The shocking thing about New Delhi is that it is nicer than most European capitals, a tree-filled, clean metropolis of broad streets. My wife and I stayed at the Taj Mahal Hotel, which boasts a law library, a house doctor and the best hotel service we've ever experienced. Our experience...

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Toronto's Cultural Landscape

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 3:37 PM

My wife, Sandra Wells, had a conference to attend in Toronto and suggested I go with her five days earlier for a much-needed vacation. I reluctantly agreed, assuming the city was a boring financial center. I returned convinced that it is the most underrated leisure destination in North America. But...

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The New Berlin on a Budget

(2) Comments | Posted July 4, 2011 | 11:22 PM

Berlin recently overtook Paris as the number two most-visited European city, behind London. Business travelers have driven growth since 1990, when Berlin became the capital of a reunited Germany, but increasingly tourists are coming to see the cutting-edge architecture, hundreds of art galleries, sites of historic importance (including the...

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Western Turkey for Americans

(11) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 11:42 PM

There's no better place for Americans to visit an Islamic country than Turkey. Several years ago, my wife, Sandra Wells, and I met Bora Ozkok, a dynamo whose zest for his native country and three decades of experience have made his Cultural Folk Tours America's leading specialist in Turkey....

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Egypt the Eternal

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2011 | 10:48 PM

What if I told you the Egyptian capital of Cairo, with 18 million residents and workers in the city each day, has almost no crime of any kind? Despite the recent anti-government turmoil and rare acts of terrorism (usually in distant resort towns), Egypt is a much safer place to...

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Art and Architecture of the Silk Road

(2) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 11:09 AM

"Where the heck is Uzbekistan and why would you go there?" asked some of our friends when my wife told them where we were going in April 2008. The first question was easy to answer: it is a country bigger than California with 28 million people, a former member of...

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Cartagena, Colombia, Rocks!

(8) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 3:00 PM

Mention Colombia to Americans and "cocaine" is probably the first word that will spring to mind. Next might be "communist," as in the longtime insurgency. But "classical music" definitely isn't the third c-word association.

Yet the International Music Festival in the coastal resort city of Cartagena just completed...

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