An artisan working on an oxcart wheel.

The Oxcarts of Sarchí

Sarchí is famous as the home of gaily decorated wooden carretas (oxcarts), the internationally recognized symbol of Costa Rica. The carretas, forced from the fields by the advent of tractors and trucks, are almost purely decorative now, but the craft and the art form live on here, where artisans still apply their masterly touch at two fábricas de carretas (workshops), which are open to view

Off-street art gallery in Cuba. Photo © Brian Snelson, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Where to Find Cuban Arts and Crafts

The Cuban government bans the sale and export of antiques. Hence, there are no stores selling antiques to tourists. Fortunately, there are an abundance of galleries and markets that feature handmade items and artworks, from souvenir-style trinkets and kitsch to collectable pieces.

Po Nagar Towers. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

Sights North of Nha Trang, Vietnam

There are two notable sights north of Nha Trang: the Po Nagar Towers and the rocky promontory of Hon Chong, both excellent sites for scenic views and interesting histories. Both are easily visited in one trip; stop first at the towers and then continue along the same road for another mile to the sea.

Cannons and cannonballs are used as traffic barricades on Calle Mercaderes in Havana, Cuba.

A Walk Down Calle Mercaderes, Havana

Cobbled Calle Mercaderes between Obispo and Plaza Vieja is full of museums, art and rare collections galleries, beautiful architecture, and handmade goods such as traditional fragrances and Spanish fans. A walk along the street can easily take a full day or more if you stop to see all there is to see.

New Mexico's Pedernal Peak, seen from Ghost Ranch.

A Taste of Art History in Taos and Santa Fe

Santa Fe and Taos have long histories of fostering creative output, much of it inspired by the surrounding landscape. Art lovers need not spend all their time in museums (though there are some great ones). It can be just as rewarding to visit studios, talk with artists, and see how objects are made.

A trio of elegant looking square glass bottles of fragrance with metal stamped hang tags.

Made in Bermuda: Finding Unique Souvenirs

There’s always a T-shirt or paperweight to take home, but if you look around, you’ll find far more interesting souvenirs. Author Rosemary Jones offers suggestions for unique mementos to pick up while in Bermuda.