Melanie Radzicki McManus

Melanie is always looking for her next adventure, whether it's hiking 1,000 kilometers on a Spanish pilgrimage trail or warming her hands over a space heater with Muslim guards at the Dome of the Rock. Melanie has written for publications such as Cooking Light, National Geographic Traveler, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Robb Report and Runner's World, and recently created two travel apps. In 2011, she won a gold Lowell Thomas Award for best environmental tourism article.

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Touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Wisconsin

Taliesin, home of Frank Lloyd Wright. ©Melanie Radzicki McManus

When you live in Frank Lloyd Wright’s former backyard, you hear lots of stories. The famous architect was a skinflint who never paid his taxes. He was a scoundrel who bullied people and thought he was all that. He had expensive tastes and … [Read more...]

Exploring the Arkansas River Trail

The Arkansas River Trail crosses the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge. ©Melanie Radzicki McManus

I tell my friend, Amy, it’s odd that the trail we’re running along has devolved from a neat, blacktopped path to a jumble of golf ball-sized rocks. And that it’s even stranger that we have to carefully pick our way behind a huge, washed out … [Read more...]

Exploring Horicon Marsh in Southeast Wisconsin

Hundreds of bird species flock to Horicon Marsh. ©Melanie Radzicki McManus

Small knots of birders are standing on the floating boardwalk, all gazing in one direction. What has caught their collective eye? I'm not a "birder" (the proper term for what we non-birders would call a "birdwatcher"), so I assume it's some tiny … [Read more...]

Cycling the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Indy's Cultural Trail is great for walking or biking. (©Melanie Radzicki McManus)

The feeling is a bit disconcerting, yet wonderfully freeing. I'm biking in bustling downtown Indianapolis, amidst all the people and traffic, yet I don't have to worry about a thing — errant pedestrians, sniffing dogs, motorists opening their car … [Read more...]

Walking the Geneva Lake Shore Path in Southeast Wisconsin

Flowers are blooming along the Geneva Lake Shore Path. ©Melanie Radzicki McManus

It had seemed like such a pleasant idea: spend the day strolling around Geneva Lake. Yes, the path encircling the lake was long — some 20-odd miles — but we had the whole day. Plus, we'd have one of the prettiest lakes in Wisconsin on our left to … [Read more...]

(Almost) Running with the Bulls in Pamplona

A statue in Pamplona depicts the city's famous running of the bulls. ©Melanie Radzicki McManus

The screams of the crowd are distracting. Am I doing well and staying ahead of them, or about to be gored? My legs feel like lead as I try to maintain my pace on the uphill route, and my breathing becomes labored. How much longer can I keep going? … [Read more...]

Climbing Mt. Teide in the Canary Islands

Starting the hike up Mt. Teide. (©Melanie Radzicki McManus)

For the umpteenth time, my young guide stops to text, and it's starting to tick me off. I want to learn as much as I can about the hardscrabble volcanic mountain we're climbing, not watch his orange hoodie-clad head bent down over his flying fingers. … [Read more...]

Exploring Sevilla’s Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias

If you climb to the top of the Giralda Tower, you'll enjoy prime views of Sevilla.

Slowly and steadily, the line of people plods upward. Sighing, panting, gasping, straining. The woman in front of me desperately wants to commiserate with me about this relatively arduous trek, but I don’t speak French. Finally, she holds up three … [Read more...]

Losing Yourself in Cáceres’ Old Town, Spain

carceres

Something's not right. I'm standing outside the Church of San Francisco Javier in Cáceres, Spain, looking across St. George's Plaza. People are scurrying to and fro, hunched over their smart phones. Cars are rumbling up and down the stone streets. A … [Read more...]

Exploring Prime Roman Ruins in Mérida, Spain

The Roman bridge in Mérida is the world's longest. (Melanie Radzicki McManus)

I’m standing in an immense Roman amphitheater, looking out at an imagined crowd of thousands. How grand it must have been to have been an actor on stage. Or a member of the audience. A short while later I’m gazing down upon an immense Roman … [Read more...]