Melanie Votaw

member for over 7 years

Member Since:
May 2009

Melanie Votaw is the author of 16 non-fiction books on a variety of subjects, six under her own name published by Running Press/Perseus Books and ten ghostwritten. She has contributed to three additional books, two of which are compilations of short fiction. Books that she has ghostwritten or edited have won more than 30 awards, including the Best Beach Books Festival Grand Prize, and one of her edited books made the New York Times Bestseller List.Melanie has also written articles for such magazines as Woman's Day, Travel Savvy, Just Luxe, Business Insider, Executive Travel, Luxury Web, City Room, Your Tango, Minerva Place, Ft. Myers Magazine, Reel Life With Jane, Dream of Italy, Farewell Travels, Cultural Tours Worldwide, INE Tours, South China Morning Post, Global Writes, Inside Out Travel, and Travelers Digest, among others. She also runs her own travel and entertainment blog called TripOutonTravel.com. Her photography has been published in magazines and books, such as "The Ultimate Bird Lover" published by Health Communications, Inc. Melanie has traveled to 42 countries on six continents and loves to write about luxury travel, family travel, eco experiences, wildlife viewing and bird watching, food, wine, history, and culture. Additionally, she is a magna cum laude college graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in English. 

Contact Information

melanie@ruletheword.com

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Websites

www.ruletheword.com www.tripoutontravel.com

Published Articles (44)

French Switzerland – Yverdons-les-Bains, Lavaux & Lausanne


Switzerland is one of the most diverse countries in the world with regions that borrow their languages and culture from Italy, Germany, and France. The southwestern region of Switzerland is […]

Photo Essay: Golden Thailand


Images from beautiful Thailand

Hotel Monaco, Baltimore


A review of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, Maryland.

O, Say, You Must See Baltimore


Baltimore is well-known as the site where Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812. If you visit Fort McHenry – which I highly recommend – […]

Time Traveling in Quebec City


Visiting Quebec City during its New France historical festival.

Mysterious Egypt: Should You Go?


On a recent trip to Egypt, everything was wonderful and without incident. Unfortunately, there was an attack on Karnak less than two weeks later…

Missouri Wines – A Nice Surprise in the Midwest


A visit to Missouri shows that the state’s wineries are on par with the best in the world.

Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain


A review of these twin resorts on the island of St. Lucia – often voted the best in the Caribbean.

Photo Essay: Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail


Southwest Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail, known as “Louisiana’s outback,” consists of 180 miles of wetlands, beaches, and more that are ripe for boating, fishing, crabbing, hunting and wildlife and bird […]

The Creole and Cajun Culture of Southern Louisiana


While New Orleans is Louisiana’s premiere travel destination, you have to make your way southwest to get an experience of true Creole and Cajun cultures. The two traditions have blended […]

Hotel le Marais, New Orleans


I’ve been all over the world, but there are few places I love as much as New Orleans – especially the French Quarter. During my most recent visit, I stayed […]

Even When Alabama Isn\’t Home, It\’s Sweet


When I told friends I was planning to tour Alabama, some of them said, “Really? Why?” The belief that the state has little to offer the traveler could not be […]

The Culture and Pulse of Toronto


There is an exciting energy about Toronto that is uniquely its own. The residents sincerely appreciate the culture and arts that their city offers them – theater, music, dance, film, […]

Tableau: A New Elegant Restaurant in The Big Easy


As I write this article in a very cold New York City, I wish I had the Hot Buttered Rum drink that I sampled in December 2013 at Tableau, a […]

Charleston, South Carolina: Remnants of the Old South


Charleston, South Carolina is a striking city that is steeped in history. The remnants of the Civil War, of course, are a mixed bag. On the one hand, the plantations […]

Where Are the Birds in Ecuador? Everywhere


With more than 1,500 species, Ecuador is one of the bird capitals of the world. Only four countries can beat that number (Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Indonesia), but Ecuador is […]

Audubon Cottages, New Orleans


It’s unusual to find an accommodation like Audubon Cottages in the center of a city. More than a luxury hotel; it consists of seven cottages in historic buildings in the French Quarter. […]

New Orleans: All It’s Cracked Up To Be and More


The song goes, “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans … and miss her every day?” Well, yes, now I do. After traveling to six of the […]

Panama – Great Birding Within Easy Reach


If you live in the U.S., international bird watching doesn’t require that you travel so far afield. Panama is relatively close, especially for those of us who live in the […]

Photo Essay: Icebergs of Newfoundland – Nature’s Sculptures


The Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland often becomes a wonderland of sculptural white and blue icebergs in the summer, as the temperatures warm and the icebergs break apart from […]

Casablanca Hotel – An Oasis in Times Square


I have now stayed at all four HKHotel properties in New York, and it’s clear to me why they’re favorites among regular travelers to Manhattan. In fact, TripAdvisor ranked the […]

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna-Niguel, CA


What makes the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna-Niguel special? It’s set on a 150-foot bluff of truly spectacular California coastline, making it a spot that is great for both weddings and families…

Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel – An Oasis in Bel Air


The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is located away from the traffic in Bel-Air, California in a seven-acre setting that’s fit for everything from a wedding to a weekend getaway. When […]

Unexpected International Cuisine in New York


While New York City’s streets may be filled with hundreds of Italian, French, and Chinese restaurants, those same streets are dotted with eateries serving lesser-known cuisines. The immense diversity of […]

Hotel Palomar, Los Angeles


What I love most about Kimpton Hotels is the décor. Each property has interesting design elements that are usually a bit on the funky side. (See my review of the […]

The Balboa Bay Club & Resort, Newport Beach, CA


Newport Beach, California’s Balboa Bay Club & Resort has quite a history. In its halls, you’ll see photos of a number of former presidents and celebrities who were either guests […]

Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia


The brand new Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, which opened October 2, 2012, is a visual feast. The décor is bright, funky, and eclectic with colorful pieces from across the globe. […]

The Village of Amalfi: Your Base For Exploring the Italian Coast


The port town of Amalfi is the perfect home base for exploring the rest of the Amalfi Coast, but it’s worth some time by itself. Though smaller than Positano, Amalfi […]

Running With Wolves in Golden, British Columbia – A Photo Essay


The scent of sweetgrass wafted past my nose as the wolf raced excitedly down the path. I was hiking in a forest in Golden, British Columbia with two wolves – […]

Australia is for the Birds: Top 10 Feathers of Oz


Australia is positively teeming with birds. If you go there only to see the opera house, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Bondi Beach, and a didgeridoo, you’re missing out. If you read […]

Monastery Turned Luxury Hotel on the Amalfi Coast


When you think of a monastery turned into a hotel, you might think Spartan rooms with nothing on the walls, hard mattresses, and cold floors—basically the last place you’d want […]

Villa le Scale, Anacapri, Isle of Capri


When my hydrofoil arrived at the Isle of Capri from the Amalfi Coast, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. Sure, it’s gorgeous – no question – but […]

Vienna: Majestic Architecture, Grand Balls, and City Vineyards


Vienna is one of the most regal of Europe’s great cities. The mostly Baroque architecture creates high drama throughout the streets with imposing statues, green patina domes, and intricate detail […]

10 Best Cities for Bird Watching


If you’re like most travelers, when you visit the world’s great cities, you concentrate on the architecture, museums, restaurants, people-watching, and night life. But night clubs aren’t the only places […]

The Cadogan Hotel, London


If you want a truly British experience, stay at The Cadogan Hotel while in London. A historic property that is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2012, the hotel still has […]

Surrender to Salzburg


Surrounded by mountains and dotted with patinaed domes and regal statues, Salzburg is, without question, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A river snakes through the center, […]

New York Restaurant Round-up


South China Morning Post, March 2009

Entree: Best Alberta Beef in Calgary


South China Morning Post, March 2009

World’s Best Nude Travel Destinations


It may sound sexy to travel to some of the top nudist destinations across the globe, but dedicated naturists are primarily into the freedom of living in harmony with nature, […]

The Many Charms of Oklahoma City


When the opportunity to visit Oklahoma City came my way, I had no idea what to expect. My first night involved an event at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage […]

Niagara On the Lake


Business Insider – Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada (just over the border from New York State) is well-known for ice wines, and the village takes full advantage of this notoriety. The […]

Rocky Mountaineer Train Journeys


Jagged white peaks speckled with pines, stretches of parched terrain alongside vast lakes, glacial blue water sliding into creeks, and black ridges iced with snow. These are among the images […]

Appenzell Switzerland: Cows, Cheese & Yodels


It is a massive understatement to say that the Appenzell region of Switzerland has character. Appenzell is exactly how you hope the German part of Switzerland will be. Well-known among […]

Cleveland: Food, Wine, and Rock ‘n Roll


If you travel to Cleveland primarily for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you might find that you’re equally impressed with the food. A highlight for me in the […]

Global Writes (9)

Photo Essay: Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail

Southwest Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail, known as “Louisiana’s outback,” consists of 180 miles of wetlands, beaches, and more that are ripe for boating, fishing, crabbing, hunting and wildlife and bird watching. I photographed the serene area of the Trail near Lake Charles.

The post Photo Essay: Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Tableau: A New Elegant Restaurant in the Big Easy

As I write this article in a very cold New York City, I wish I had the Hot Buttered Rum drink that I sampled in December 2013 at Tableau, a new restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The drink was the perfect antidote to an unseasonably cold New […]

The post Tableau: A New Elegant Restaurant in the Big Easy appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Icebergs of Newfoundland: Nature’s Sculptures

The Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland often becomes a wonderland of sculptural white and blue icebergs in the summer, as the temperatures warm and the icebergs break apart from their homes farther north. I visited the area off the coast of St. Anthony, which is near the northern tip of Newfoundland […]

The post Icebergs of Newfoundland: Nature’s Sculptures appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel – An Oasis in Bel Air

The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is located away from the traffic in Bel-Air, California in a seven-acre setting that’s fit for everything from a wedding to a weekend getaway. When we stepped into the lobby, we put the Los Angeles noise behind us and felt that we had found a […]

The post Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel – An Oasis in Bel Air appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Kimpton Opens Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia

The brand new Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, which opened October 2, 2012,  is a visual feast. The décor is bright, funky and eclectic, with colorful furniture and art from across the globe. The lobby contains Asian pieces alongside African masks. Behind the check-in desk is an array of brushes hanging on a […]

The post Kimpton Opens Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Running With Wolves in Golden, British Columbia – A Photo Essay

The scent of sweetgrass wafted past my nose as the wolf raced excitedly down the path. I was hiking in a forest in Golden, British Columbia with two wolves – a singular experience if ever there was one. The wolves are captive animals at the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre in Golden, which is […]

The post Running With Wolves in Golden, British Columbia – A Photo Essay appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Surrender to Salzburg

Surrounded by mountains and dotted with patina domes and regal statues, Salzburg is, without question, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A river snakes through the center, a fortress castle watches from above, and horse-drawn carriages trot through the historic streets. Pedestrian bridges cross over the narrow […]

The post Surrender to Salzburg appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Rocky Mountaineer Train Journeys

…These are among the images that stick with you when you travel through the remarkably diverse landscapes of western Canada. And there's no better or more relaxing way to see these panoramic spectacles than onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train.

The post Rocky Mountaineer Train Journeys appeared first on Global-Writes.com.

Sometimes Travel is for the Birds: The Ecuadoran Andes

It was a dizzying way to start our trip – especially after a late night landing in Quito and only four hours of sleep. But here we were standing on a mountain more than two miles high. We were on a slope of the Pinchincha Volcano, part of the Yanacocha Reserve in the Ecuadoran Andes. It was our first stop on the way to a week at Tandayapa Bird Lodge…

The post Sometimes Travel is for the Birds: The Ecuadoran Andes appeared first on Global-Writes.com.