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Off-camera, Meredith Vieira focuses on Cape Cod

Veteran television journalist Meredith Vieira has quite an impressive and varied resume, from news anchor to game show host. Her newest role is hosting her own daytime talk show, “The Meredith Vieira Show,” which debuted in September and airs on ABC at 3 p.m. weekdays in Boston. The Providence native, who lives in Westchester County (just north of Manhattan) has traveled the world, but her favorite vacation destination is right here in Massachusetts: Cape Cod. We caught up with Vieira, 60, who is married with three children, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation spot? Cape Cod. Our family owns a beach house there. The minute I cross the Bourne Bridge, my whole body relaxes!


Favorite food or drink while vacationing? A lobster roll from PJ’s in Wellfleet. It’s the first place we stop.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Bhutan [in South Asia] because it is the first country where Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than gross national product. It’s as close as it gets to Shangri-la.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? I never travel without my stuffed Sylvester Puddy Cat. My mom gave me him when I started working for CBS News in the 1980s because of my fear of flying. He has definitely seen the world!

Aisle or window? I always choose a window seat because I need to see what’s going on outside. Somehow it makes me feel like I’m in control. Did I tell you I hate flying?

Favorite childhood travel memory? Visiting the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Our family took an early morning bus from Providence and saw it all in one day. I was just 11 and I still remember the “It’s a Small World” ride and the unveiling of the first color TV by RCA. The next year my parents surprised us with that same television!


Guilty pleasure when traveling? It has to be fitting in a massage . . . followed by a glass of wine.

Best travel tip? My best advice is don’t overbook your vacation. You don’t have to see every landmark to soak in a country. In fact, my favorite moments are just people-watching from a cafe or wandering aimlessly. Pick a couple of must-sees and then let yourself be carried away.


Juliet Pennington can be reached at