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Living Legends: The Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans

I’m sitting in a cluttered workshop in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood. Surrounding me are plastic containers filled with beads and rhinestones of about every hue imaginable, elaborate feather headdresses, glue guns, oversize spools of thread, and fluffy lime-green tufts that suggest a Muppet has exploded. Along the back wall hang spectacular suits from Mardi Gras past, including a cobalt-blue beauty…

When Travel Goes Wrong

Sometimes bad things happen to good people when they’re far away from home. That doesn’t mean they have to ruin your trip. As Ken Budd reminds us, it’s all about putting things in the proper perspective.

Books That Will Make You Fall In Love With the World

National Geographic’s travel literature expert, Don George, shares four books guaranteed to make you fall in love with the world (and itch to start planning your next trip).

Grand Torino: Italy’s Aperitivo Capital

To most of us, vermouth is the stuff you use to make a Martini. Or a Manhattan. Fair enough. But as many of us are rediscovering, vermouth is among the most versatile of cocktail ingredients. What’s more, it’s great straight. Vermouth’s origins, as with most quaffs, are hazy. But evidence unearthed in China suggests it just may be the…

Beyond the Beach in Curaçao

Sitting 40 miles off the Venezuelan coast, the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao stretches close to 40 miles itself, from north to south. And though most of the action happens at beachfront resorts and sandy expanses crowded with cruise ship passengers, the isle offers myriad (and less-traveled) historical, creative, and natural spaces that will satisfy gourmands, nature lovers,…

Local Flavor: Hot Chicken in Nashville

“Hot chicken” is Nashville’s most famous dish. With two equally famous establishments in the city, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B’s, residents love to argue who fries it best.

A Perfect Day in Washington, D.C.

I’ve lived in Washington for (gulp) 23 years—and something I’ve learned in all that time: This is one great city to visit. I recently had the honor of writing Nat Geo’s forthcoming book Walking Washington, D.C., and reveled in the chance to traverse the District to rediscover old favorites through the eyes of a tourist and dig up treasures I never…

The Art of Sacred Placement in San Miguel de Allende

A charming Spanish colonial city with a UNESCO World Heritage designation, San Miguel de Allende, located in the central highlands of Mexico, is a mecca for all manner of creative types. In a place where scores of art galleries cluster in and around a vibrant centro histórico, you’d hardly think it necessary to make a trek three miles out of town to see one more. But if you don’t, you’ll miss what is arguably the most interesting attraction the area has to offer—not to mention one of its most colorful characters.

The Best Travel Books About Bali

Thinking about planning a trip to Bali or simply hoping to bone up on your knowledge about the Indonesian island province? Pick up one of these insightful books, recommended by our travel literature expert Don George.

7 Offbeat Adventures Around the World

Itching for an adventure, but want to set your sights on something a little out of the ordinary? Look no further. Treat yourself to a wholly unique experience with any one of these offbeat adventures: Live Like a Bedouin in Egypt If commonplace adventures sound too tame for you, consider immersing yourself in the life of a desert nomad in Egypt.…

To Cruise, or Not to Cruise?

The cruise industry carried more than 23 million passengers in 2015, and nine new oceangoing ships will debut this year. But if you’re among the millions of Americans who have never cruised, here’s a primer on what’s happening on the high seas. What’s new in the cruise industry? Ships from mainstream lines continue to break…

Local Flavor: Mojitos in Havana

Deceptively simple yet slightly controversial, the Cuban mojito is best enjoyed—and understood—in one of Havana’s old or new watering holes.