Emma Fried-Cassorla can probably get away with saying she’s from the City of Brotherly Love after spending most of her life there. In addition to working a day job in communications at the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, this hometown enthusiast shares her insider intel on Philly Love Notes. Here are a few of Emma’s favorite things about the city she calls home.

The Bard of Avon was born 450 years ago (today, in fact) and, rightly so, England is celebrating his enduring legacy. Rather than zipping over to Stratford for the day and checking off Shakespeare sites from a list, I wanted to experience the landscapes that inspired his words. That’s how I found myself ordering waterproof shoes, packing light layers and Lycra, and landing in London to bike Shakespeare’s Way, a self-guided route around the English countryside.

More than five years ago, Enric Sala left a tenured position at prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography and showed up at Nat Geo’s doorstep to outline his vision for protecting the last wild places in the ocean. Today, with support from the Society, the audacious marine ecologist remains the driving force behind the Pristine Seas Project, an epic effort to establish marine reserves–underwater national parks–around the world. I recently got the chance to chat with Sala about his hometown in Catalonia, his favorite place to scuba dive, and more. Here’s what he had to say.

When I know I’m going on a trip, I immediately start canvassing my network of friends around the world for advice about what to see and do. So when I heard I’d be heading to San Diego, I went straight to Nat Geo Travel’s digital director, Carolyn Fox, who grew up a few miles north of the city, in Del Mar. Here’s her idea of a perfect day in San Diego County–and what I found along the way as a visitor armed with her recommendations.

The beauty of America’s 59 national parks, from the crystal clear waters of Glacier to the sharp silhouette of the Grand Tetons, is something you should experience firsthand–and this is the perfect time to do it. Why? It’s National Park Week. To pay homage to the amazing natural splendor of America’s best idea, we asked our Facebook community to share their favorite national park with us–and what makes it so special. Here’s what they had to say.

In a nod to the renaissance transforming South Africa, 
Cape Town has been crowned the World Design Capital of 2014. The art scene here particularly flourishes in the neighborhood of Woodstock, a historically industrial quarter along a shabby stretch of the city’s eastern fringes.

There are few people living who know Yellowstone better than Jeremy Schmidt. The Jackson Hole-based writer and photographer has spent 40 years working there as a ranger, “winterkeeper,” and guide. Here’s his insider’s guide to America’s very first national park.

Paul Theroux has been charming readers–and rooting out surprising adventures in far-flung places–for more than half a century. Known for his fondness for train travel, love-hate relationship with Africa, and finesse with language, the veteran travel writer and novelist, now 73, continues to share his adventures with the world. When Theroux stopped by the Nat Geo offices last year, I had a chance to ask him about his thoughts on travel, his connection to his roots, and his advice for aspiring writers. This is what he had to say.

I set off from Miami without an agenda. I was headed south to Key West on the famous Overseas Highway and wanted to let serendipity lead the way. With only a short amount of time on my hands, I didn’t want to be saddled with an endless list of to-dos. Here’s what I found on my…

When Sharada Annamaraju moved to Hyderabad as a teenager, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. But time and distance can change a person. Eight years (and one language learned) later, she decided to give the capital of Andhra Pradesh in southern India another chance. This time, sparks flew, and she isn’t leaving anytime soon. Here are a few of Sharada’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

The Radar–the best of the travel blogosphere–is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our latest picks.

The Miami of today may not look like any place my grandparents would recognize–at least from the outside. But Magic City’s big heart and carousing spirit are here to stay.