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8 Adventures in Wonderland

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Don’t just see the world, seize it. From swimming with whale sharks in Baja California to horseback riding across Mongolia, these eight wild adventures turn vacations into calls to action. > Swim With Whale Sharks Goosebumps. That’s what snorkeling near a bus-size shark can get you. Floating on the surface of the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Baja California, in Mexico, you see nothing but shades of aquamarine water below. Then, a shadow emerges from the deep, and the outline of a huge whale shark looms into view: the unmistakable dorsal and pectoral fins, the square head, and the powerful crescent-shaped tail. Even though these ancient fish...

Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A mob of kangaroos grazes in a chilly pasture, then flees in front of an approaching pickup truck. The herd looks like a bunch of deer on pogo sticks. The scene is unfolding outside the ecolodge window I’m peering from on this early winter morning in August. It’s my second day on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, a scenic highway that follows the coastline west of Melbourne for 151 miles through Victoria. Admittedly, I harbor some skepticism of this legendary road, wondering how the GOR could possibly rival my favorite U.S. coastal drive: the long, winding, two-lane sections of California State Route 1. These two drives are probably the only...

Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A mob of kangaroos grazes in a chilly pasture, then flees in front of an approaching pickup truck. The herd looks like a bunch of deer on pogo sticks. The scene is unfolding outside the ecolodge window I’m peering from on this early winter morning in August. It’s my second day on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, a scenic highway that follows the coastline west of Melbourne for 151 miles through Victoria. Admittedly, I harbor some skepticism of this legendary road, wondering how the GOR could possibly rival my favorite U.S. coastal drive: the long, winding, two-lane sections of California State Route 1. These two drives are probably the only...

Just Back: Burgundy

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Senior Travel Books Editor Barbara A. Noe visited the Burgundy region of France as part of research for the upcoming National Geographic book Romantic Journeys of a Lifetime. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words: Memorable Moment: At the top of a creaky, squeaky wooden staircase of a 15th-century building, on the rue du Merle in the village of Cluny, a door leads into a network of rooms where France’s only private instrument-making institution resides. The Bois et Buis workshop, run by the esteemed lute-maker Pascal Cranga, seems to have come straight out of the Renaissance, filled with talented woodworkers bent over long counters, meticulously carving, shaving, and polishing violins, guitars, and mandolins. At the request of...

I Heart My City (in the Fall)

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Autumn is kicking into full swing (for the northern half of the world, at least), so we thought we’d celebrate the season with a special edition of I Heart My City. Here are 20 fall must-dos from I Heart contributors in 20 cities around the world: Laura’s Barcelona (Spain): Celebrate La Castanyada instead of Halloween. It’s a tradition in which we eat toasted chestnuts and panellets, small marzipan and nut cakes. Lindsay’s Burlington (Vermont, USA): Leaf-peep like a pro, preferably via bicycle or on foot. To truly enjoy autumn’s colors, hike up Mount Philo for an incredible view of the Lake Champlain valley. Sevcan’s Istanbul (Turkey): Discover the city’s rich (and safe) street...

A Food Lover’s Guide to Southern Maine

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I straddle two worlds as an organic blueberry farmer and a travel editor, but these two realities pleasantly meet in the realm of farm-to-fork adventures—and there is no better place to be than Maine during harvest season. There are more than 400 organic farms and roughly 130 farmers markets in this rugged state I call home. Maine’s lobster fishery is also a model of sustainable seafood practices, making it a back-to-the-land-and-sea culinary paradise. Here are my tips for the perfect fall road trip, including the largest organic farmers’ gathering on the planet, which takes place in September. Day 1: After crossing into Maine on 95 North, make your lunch stop in...

Summer In Scottsdale And The Livin’ Is Line-Free

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

To the ordinary outsider, a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the 4th of July, may seem a bit crazy, what with the average temperature hovering above 100 degrees for the month of July. However, throw into the mix the fact that hotel prices drop anywhere from 50% to 80% off their peak season rates (from the very high-end resorts down to basic chain hotels), restaurants otherwise normally difficult at best to get into are home to empty dining rooms, and the reality that the dry desert air doesn’t really feel that bad (at least to this New York City dweller who suffers through perspiration-inducing walks from the subway to the...

I Heart My Island: Grenada

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jadine Hinds has been free diving and spear fishing in the waters surrounding Grenada since she was seven years old. These days the native islander indulges her love of the ocean as a PADI divemaster for the Aqua Center at Sandals LaSource Resort. But that doesn’t mean Jadine’s enthusiasm for the Caribbean destination she calls home is confined to the aquatic. She has plenty of land-based intel to share. “I don’t think I’ll ever leave Grenada,” Hinds says. “It’s paradise.” Here’s a look at the “Island of Spice” through Jadine’s local lens. Grenada Is My Island The best time to visit my island is…it depends. If you’re seeking relaxation and want to spend every day on the beach, I would recommend visiting...

I Heart My City: Laura’s Barcelona

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Laura Coch, who earned a Master’s degree in cultural tourism from the University of Girona, has been a Barcelona tour guide with Monograms for the past three years. To Laura, Catalonia’s cultural capital has it all: “This city has a bit of everything,” she says. “Great weather, history, culture, food, architecture, and shopping; the sea and the mountains; and, of course, very nice people.” Here are a few of her favorite things about the place she’s proud to call home. Barcelona Is My City When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Barcelona’s Old Town (Ciutat Vella), one of ten districts in the city, where you will find...

The Riches and Revelations of Paris

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Forty summers ago, Paris changed my life. I’d arrived in June as a fresh college graduate, a romantic dreamer, and wannabe poet, uncertain where my life path was leading. I had a summer internship at Kodak-Pathé, after which I had a fellowship to teach for nine months at Athens College in Greece. And after that? I wasn’t sure. I’ve described what happened that summer in the pages of Traveler magazine: “One morning halfway through my stay, I took my apartment building’s rickety old filigreed elevator as usual from the fifth floor to the hushed shade of the ground-floor entryway, then stepped through the massive wooden doors into the street—and stopped....