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A road trip with a question: Is regional American food alive and well?

"Where y'all from?" It was a question we heard frequently on our cross-country journey. This time, the person asking was Crystal, our waitress at Bea's, a family-run fried chicken restaurant on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I paused. "Well," I answered. "It's a good question. We've been...

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  • MGM National Harbor tops again in state casino revenue

    MGM National Harbor tops again in state casino revenue

    Just five months after it opened, MGM National Harbor emerged for the second straight month in April as Maryland's top revenue-producing casino, according to figures released Friday by the state. MGM, which topped $50 million in monthly revenue for the first time in March, generated $49.9 million...

  • MGM National Harbor back on top as Maryland casinos set another revenue record

    MGM National Harbor back on top as Maryland casinos set another revenue record

    Four-month-old MGM National Harbor reclaimed the state's top revenue-producing spot during a record-breaking March for Maryland's six casinos. MGM, which opened Dec. 8, topped $50 million in monthly revenue for the first time, surpassing Maryland Live, according to figures released Wednesday by...

  • Maryland Live back on top in state casino revenue

    Maryland Live back on top in state casino revenue

    Maryland Live, which lost its position in January as the state's top revenue-producing casino, leapfrogged the 3-month-old MGM National Harbor last month to regain the No. 1 spot. Maryland Live, battling to retain its market share, generated $46.2 million from slot machines and table games in February,...

  • MGM National Harbor becomes state's largest casino

    MGM National Harbor becomes state's largest casino

    The $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor leapfrogged Maryland Live as the state's top revenue-producing casino in January, its first full month of operation. The new Prince George's County casino, which opened in early December, generated $48.8 million from slot machines and table games, making it the...

  • Maryland casinos are pumping out billions for education. So why are there school budget deficits?

    Maryland casinos are pumping out billions for education. So why are there school budget deficits?

    In the seven years since the first of Maryland's six casinos opened, they have pumped $1.7 billion into the state's Education Trust Fund — the financial windfall that advocates for gambling promised would go to the state's public schools. But over that time, casino funds have not gone to bolster...

  • MGM National Harbor bets on A-list music lineup to draw customers

    MGM National Harbor bets on A-list music lineup to draw customers

    Jared and Amy Akman made their first trip to MGM National Harbor in Prince George's County last week for one reason — to see the multiplatinum rock band Kings of Leon kick off its U.S. tour. Sure, the married couple from Lutherville was curious about the new resort's casino, the celebrity chef-driven...

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  • 10 of the East Coast's best small-town Fourth of July celebrations

    10 of the East Coast's best small-town Fourth of July celebrations

    We looked around the Land of The Free and found an array of July 4 destinations worthy of a journey. While countless towns host festive parades, those we recommend honor U.S. service members who made it their mission to protect our prized democracy. Many of our selected spots possess great Fourth...

  • More than 927,000 Marylanders expected to travel for Fourth of July weekend

    More than 927,000 Marylanders expected to travel for Fourth of July weekend

    Sean Evans isn't making the typical Maryland Fourth of July weekend drive to Ocean City. Instead, the 29-year-old Forest Hill resident is road-tripping with his girlfriend and friends to see the Dead & Company, a group of remaining members of the Grateful Dead, Wednesday night at Blossom Music...

  • A mystical weekend escape in New Mexico

    A mystical weekend escape in New Mexico

    “You must see Quarai,” said the friend we were visiting in Albuquerque. “It’s a mystical place.” Eager for a spiritual fix, my husband, Paul, and I drove southeast from the city to this Spanish mission ruin [122 Manzano Quarai Road, Mountainair, N.M.; (505) 847-2585, www.nps.gov/sapu], one of three...

  • How to plan the perfect road trip

    How to plan the perfect road trip

    Some of the same things that make road trips such romantic escapes also make them great for family bonding — with a few more rules.

  • The best time to book airfare? It's no science, but there are tricks.

    The best time to book airfare? It's no science, but there are tricks.

    Search on the web for “best time to book airfare” and you’ll find many conflicting answers, all of them completely wrong. And not only are they wrong, but they do a disservice to consumers who fall for this “voodoo” airfare economics. One site gives a “guide” of 47 days before travel, although...

  • One bad experience and I was ready to turn my back on the Oregon coast. But that was before James Beard taught me to love it.

    James Beard's Oregon

    More than 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Oregon coast as a quick side trip from a writers conference I was attending in Portland. I remember standing on a rocky bluff, shivering as I overlooked a rough-and-tumble Pacific Ocean. The weather was disagreeable — wet and in the low 50s —...

  • Eat, drink and be merry in Islamorada's arts district

    Eat, drink and be merry in Islamorada's arts district

    When going to the Florida Keys, don't rush on the drive south. Stop along the way — frequently. In fact, don't feel you must go to Key West at all. Try Islamorada. Located in the Upper Keys, Islamorada is only one hour south of Miami. Long known as a fishing destination, Islamorada is developing...

  • Besalú, the most interesting Spanish village you've never heard of

    Besalú, the most interesting Spanish village you've never heard of

    Besalú may be the most interesting Spanish village you’ve never heard of. It has a cast of medieval characters you’ve probably never heard of either. There was Wilfred the Hairy, who was the count of Besalú (among other titles) in the 9th century. Many consider him one of the founders of a unified...

  • On a trip to Venice, art is inescapable

    On a trip to Venice, art is inescapable

    Venice, Italy — On a recent spring evening as I waited for the 4.1 vaporetto line — part of Venice’s system of floating buses — passing boats generated waves that caused the dock on which I was standing to rock slightly. My right side rose a few centimeters and then fell, followed moments later...

  • From restaurants to islands, 6 boating hangouts to check out this summer

    From restaurants to islands, 6 boating hangouts to check out this summer

    For Shawn Samad, a perfect summer day revolves around his 24-foot power boat. Boating is “a part of Maryland living,” said the downtown Baltimore resident, who is a cosmetic dentist and owner of Laurel Pines Dental Group in Laurel. “I grew up in Annapolis. I’ve been in boats all my life. It’s about...

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