Intelligent Travel

About Intelligent Travel

Cultural, Authentic & Sustainable: This is your brain on travel. We showcase the essence of place, what's unique and original, and what locals cherish most about where they live. And we highlight places, practices, and people that are on the front lines of sustainable travel--travel that preserves places' essential uniqueness for future generations.

Our mission is rooted in what the National Geographic Society stands for: inspiring people to care about the planet. Traveler and Intelligent Travel also want you to experience and enjoy the planet. We want to help you journey with greater sensitivity to the impact your trip has on a place and its inhabitants.

Sometimes we celebrate, sometimes we criticize. But we always try to heighten awareness about what's really important about travel: finding great places, experiencing them fully, and leaving them no worse for your visit.

Email: intelligenttravel at ngs dot org

#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.

Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry trees are in full bloom, and Nat Geo Travel took you there in real time with Dan Westergren, the head of photography for Traveler magazine, leading the way. During the Google Hangout On Air, Dan went down to one of the District’s most photogenic spots–the Tidal Basin–to capture this world-class capital city in…

Ohio’s city of seven hills is on the way up. New riverfront parks and neighborhood comebacks are revitalizing Cincinnati’s urban core—a mix of industrial grit and Victorian ornamentation that wags call “sauerbraten Gothic.”

Ever dreamed of having the ear of National Geographic Traveler’s editor in chief? Here’s your chance. Keith Bellows will be the featured guest on a live Twitter chat next Tuesday, April 8th at 12:30 p.m. ET, so start thinking of what you might want to ask him.

#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.

Tucked into the peaks of Toubkal National Park, named for North Africa’s highest summit, a crop of modern guesthouses has transformed Imlil, Morocco–once known as a no-frills base camp–into a comfortable retreat for day hikers.

Brooklyn is known for all the writers who live there: You can find them frowning at their laptops in their neighborhood cafes, donning their noise-canceling headphones to block out the clamor of the only other comparably populous group–children under five. As luck would have it, Nell Freudenberger’s Brooklyn lies at the intersection of these two sets of scribblers.

When you work at National Geographic, one of the first questions people ask is if you get to travel. The answer is often yes, but one of the best parts of the job is being surrounded by sharp, globe-trotting people, and getting to hear their stories. That’s why we asked folks on National Geographic’s Travel team to share a story about the best trip they’ve taken in the past year with our Intelligent Travel readers.

On warm evenings, Rome’s locals stroll the cobblestoned streets, cones and cups in hand. About 2,000 gelaterias exist in Rome. Most use additives, thickeners, and synthetic flavors–yes, even those that call themselves artigianale (artisanal). Here’s where to get the good stuff.

San Antonio, Texas, has long been known as the site of the infamous showdown at the Alamo, but the sophisticated city is attracting attention for a lot more these days. A recent $358 million River Walk face-lift connects visitors to downtown and new businesses and outdoor works projects along the river inject new life into this American classic.

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in April.

Last spring Puerto Rico bucked a decades-long trend by protecting 3,000 acres of pristine beaches and mangroves along the Northeast Ecological Corridor. A new law marks an unexpectedly happy ending to a 15-year battle fought by environmental activists to wrest this portion of the Caribbean island’s coast–which includes a vital nesting area for the endangered leatherback turtle–from the construction cranes of developers.

Recreational vehicles sit somewhere between hotels and tents. The upside: RV life is autonomous—your quarters travel with you—and allows for spontaneous stops. But then again, RVs need loads of gas and can be tricky to park. In any case, they represent a truly unique mode of transport that’s tailor-made for road tripping. Here’s your guide to getting started.

#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 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest just got underway, and we’re off to a great start so far. The magazine will be awarding seriously spectacular prizes this year, so don’t miss your chance to win. Enter today!

Many of Ireland’s grand estates that take in paying guests are privately owned homes (only a few of which still belong to their original families), so don’t necessarily expect typical hotel amenities such as reception desks and room service. But the experience is well worth it. Here’s our insider’s guide to getting the royal treatment on the Emerald Isle.

From gem cutters to weavers, artisans have long been synonymous with India’s Pink City, but Jaipur’s craft heritage continues to evolve.

Over the years I’ve done most everything 
with my sons—jumped in puddles, ridden roller coasters, skied black-diamond slopes. I’ve always thought of myself as a “fun” mom. However, they’re becoming young men, and it’s harder for me to do what they do. As they continue to grow, my husband, Robb, and I know we don’t have much time left to travel with our boys before they head out into the world. Time for a classic American road trip, RV style.

I’m driving north through Berkshire County, Massachusetts, returning as a guest lecturer to Williams College, my alma mater, just shy of the Vermont state line. It’s two days after a deep snowfall and the broad-shouldered, smoothly curving highway is nearly empty of traffic. But the rearview mirror of my mind is all swirling stage lights and marijuana smoke, twinkling fireflies and thundering bass lines.

In the 1930s and ’40s, Bologna was the capital of finely crafted men’s shoes. Though few of the 1,850 workshops from that time remain, Peron & Peron continues to painstakingly craft handmade shoes to order. Here’s a look at the distinctive cordwainers and other authentic artisans in this distinctive northern Italian city.

With a violin, a cimbalom, and some brass, Roma musicians play songs of love and loss. Here’s an insider’s guide to the constantly evolving cultural tradition. Make sure to read the lovely feature article that accompanies this primer, Roma Rhapsody: A Musical Journey Into the Heart of Romania. > Essential Listening: Fanfare Ciocărlia’s album Live captures…

“Immersing yourself in the Great Barrier Reef is the best way to see how fragile it is,” says Ben Southall, who has served as the reef’s honorary “caretaker of islands” and retraced Captain Cook’s route of discovery there, by kayak. Approximately one million visitors dive or snorkel the the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world each year. “It’s the vastness and marine life that draws people in,” says Southall. Here are a few tips to get started if experiencing Queensland’s greatest treasure is on your travel list this year.

#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.

Pancras Dijk, a senior writer for National Geographic Traveler’s Dutch edition, goes in search of the roots of Roma music in a nation on Europe’s edge.

The colonial towns along Route 7 in western Massachusetts are quintessential New England any time of year. Summer festivals bring out cultural crowds, while late September swarms with leaf-peepers. Here’s a guide to this American classic, no matter when you visit.