Andrew Nelson – Intelligent Travel

Andrew Nelson

of National Geographic Traveler

Andrew Nelson is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler magazine based in New Orleans. Follow his adventures in wanderlust on Twitter @andrewnelson.

Throwback Travel: Maine’s Lobster Kitsch

Summer, 1952. Beauty contestants on the rock-ribbed Maine coast claw their way through a five-year-old summer celebration, the Rockland Lobster Festival. The combination of innocent self-promotion and melted butter seems just right for New England’s “Vacationland”—a slogan stamped on Maine’s license plates since 1936. The feast—now the Maine Lobster Festival—still draws thousands of fans each year. Here’s a brief look at the famous fete through a throwback lens.

A Local’s Guide to Saratoga Springs

New York’s Spa City is no stranger to strangers. Saratoga Springs has welcomed visitors for three centuries, ever since the Algonquian people settled the area and the British erected a fort there at the end of the 17th century on the Hudson River’s western bank. Here’s how to make the most of your time in this stately summer stunner.

Off to the Races: Summer in Saratoga

New York’s horserace haven doesn’t gamble with change—it embraces tradition with giant hats and gin and tonics.

Throwback Travel: Camogli, Italy

Summer, 1939. The sun shines on beachgoers in Camogli, an anchovy-shaped fishing port on the Italian Riviera located just southeast of Genoa. Less than a year later, Italy declared war on the Allies and invaded France. “The hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said of Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini’s decision. Several summers would pass before a day at the beach would again be a peaceful one.

Great Family Trips: New Orleans

The family vacation, like the concept of family itself, has evolved. Kids are traveling with grandma or a single parent or an indulgent uncle (or all three). However you define your kin, this Southern itinerary is all relative.

Throwback Travel: Yellowstone National Park

A look at the world’s first national park through a throwback travel lens.

Throwback Travel: New Orleans

Canal Street, 1952. Golden-age New Orleans. With roughly 600,000 residents, the city counted itself an urban heavyweight, and its grand boulevard reflected its muscle. Plotted as a shipping channel following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Canal Street held water in name only, becoming the demarcation line between the French Vieux Carré and New Orleans’s growing Anglophone neighborhoods. Part Times Square, part…

Throwback Travel: Sledding in Central Park

The time this photo of sledders in Central Park hit newsstands in National Geographic magazine: December 1960. Meanwhile, on Broadway, audiences applaud the new Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot, and newly elected John F. Kennedy prepares to assume the American presidency. Here are a few other interesting intersections.

Postcard From Penang

There’s no finer end to a day in Penang, Malaysia, than to watch the tropic sun drop into the Strait of Malacca. Drink to the dusk with a cold Tiger beer, a reward for exploring the tightly packed and steamy streets of the city’s preserved inner core—a 640-acre UNESCO World Heritage site known by its English colonial name, George Town.

Throwback Travel: Budapest’s Bathing Beauty

Geothermal and glorious, Budapest’s Gellért Baths opened in 1918, the year that marked the end of World War I and the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s collapse. Here are a few memorable takeaways from the soak of a century.

Louisiana, Three Ways: Atchafalaya Swamp

I’m in Killer Poboys to meet with Charles Chamberlain, a Ph.D. in American history and local History Man. Ten years a historian at the Louisiana State Museum before setting up his own company, Historia, to provide outsiders with insights into the Pelican State, Chamberlain knows Louisiana. He’s just the guy, I figure, to explain why Louisiana is so different, even a…

Louisiana, Three Ways: Creole Country

The river town of Natchitoches dates back to 1714, when French traders paddling up the Red River from the Mississippi put down roots here, making it the oldest permanent settlement in the entire 828,000-square-mile Louisiana Purchase. It immediately impresses me as a downsize version of New Orleans’ Royal Street, with its filigreed iron balconies, antiques stores, and art galleries.