Katie Knorovsky

A National Geographic Traveler editor goes behind the lens with photo legend Steve McCurry.

In the “bean belt” looping Africa, Asia, and the Americas, coffee provides more than a jolt—it’s an economic lifeline and a cultural bedrock. Coffee buyer Kim Elena Ionescu’s hunt for the planet’s best beans has taken her from Bolivia to Ethiopia. Steeped in ritual, her adventures are anything but stale. Here are some of the highlights.

Rising star Danai Gurira believes in the power of hybrids—her term for people who thrive at a confluence of cultures. Born in Iowa, raised in her parents’ native Zimbabwe, trained in New York City, and now based in Los Angeles, “The Walking Dead” actress brings a layered perspective—and a rare spark—to her work.

Indiana Jones 2.0

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Albert Yu-min Lin is always pushing—to higher mountains, bigger waves, smarter technology, deeper heritage. Hear more about this intrepid archaeologist’s passions, predilections, and inspirations–and quest to find Genghis Khan’s tomb–in his own words.

Louisville’s whiskey revolution is making a splash.

Saving India’s Big Cats

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Krithi Karanth may be diminutive, but her impact has been epic. Hear more about how this native daughter is revolutionizing India’s approach to wildlife conservation and get the inside scoop on her favorite place in the world–in her own words.

Lessons From the Holy Land

Aziz Abu Sarah, a Muslim, works with an Orthodox rabbi as well as a former banker to give dual-narrative tours of the Holy Land with their company, Mejdi, and with National Geographic Expeditions. His approach, which has earned praise from church groups, executives, and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is drawn from his experience of growing up Palestinian in Jerusalem. Here are a few life lessons from this intrepid traveler.

We’d like to offer congratulations to Gerhard Buttner, the winner of Planeta.com’s eighth annual Colibri Ecotourism Award. South African geographer Buttner won the honor for his superb work training guides and artisans in Mexico’s Yucatan and Oaxaca. Over the past few years Buttner has helped the community of San Antonio Cuajimoloyas develop its annual mushroom…

The Houdini-themed fiberglass “Metamorph Lion” stands guard in front of Appleton’s History Museum. I had a sense of what to expect from Appleton, Wisconsin, when I visited the most wholesome of college towns in Middle America—and on Flag Day, no less. But the genial college town proved more surprising with each cheesehead I encountered (best…

Back in September, I blogged about the concept of the Buffalo Commons, whose goal was to revert the Great Plains to its pristine condition by creating a nature preserve for free-roaming bison. So when I read a recent article in the New York Times about this very topic, I was delighted to discover the eco-initiative…

A new high-profile spectacle flowed into New York this week, courtesy of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The New York City Waterfalls—riding high with a $15-million price tag—is the city’s loftiest public art installation since “The Gates,” when saffron-colored ribbon shimmied atop more than 7,500 gates throughout Central Park in 2005. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the…

ASK IT Reader Pauline Mankoff wrote the Traveler staff a few weeks back, asking for any advice or help we could offer her for her upcoming, but yet-to-be-planned, trip to Ireland with her children and grandchildren—eight travelers in total. The family doesn’t currently have a computer or Internet access, and with seven weeks and counting…

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In the May/June issue of Traveler, we highlight 50 of the world’s best tours in our third annual Tours of a Lifetime issue—using the criteria of authenticity, seasoned expertise, sustainability, unprecedented access, and local connections—that offer truly transformative travel experiences. Intrepid Travel fit the bill with their 14-day "Food Lovers Japan"  tour, where travelers visit…

Napa’s clinking-glass culture is an incubator for more than world-class vino. Proof: Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in downtown St. Helena, which globe-trots via diners’ taste buds each Wednesday for their year-and-running Supper Club. Aptly named, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen is a white-linens eatery cached behind Main Street with a scene that feels more neighborly than swanky. Head…

Las Vegas Goes Au Naturel

In the neon haze of Las Vegas’s infamous Strip, it’s easy to forget the reason for the Capital of Excess’s birth (hint: it has nothing to do with blackjack or free margaritas). An oasis amid an expanse of barren desert, Vegas was once home to natural bubbling springs that sustained the area’s Native Americans, vagabonds…

Here at IT, we love a good tale of chicken grit. No, we don’t mean chicken and grits, but rather the industrious and absurd tale of Mike, the headless chicken of Fruita, Colorado. Legend goes that on Sept. 10, 1945, an almost six-month-old Wyandotte rooster was looking especially delicious to his owners, the Olsens. Lloyd…

Looking for a deal on a tour? How soon can you leave? Senior editor Norie Quintos, the magazine’s resident tour expert, says, “Now is a good time to find bargains on summer tours because some outfitters still have openings for their May and June departures, which typically are not as popular as departures later in…

Passport DC

Whenever I need a surefire way to impress an out-of-town visitor, I head to D.C.’s Massachusetts Avenue for a stroll along Embassy Row. The fascinating architecture makes for lovely eye candy, plus, it’s a great glimpse of global culture in our nation’s capital. Most of the year the sites serve uninformed passersby merely as stand-offish…

Locals like to guard their hometown’s hidden gems from the masses with fiery industry, especially in a colossal tourist destination like London. But lucky for travelers, the Guardian recently convinced ten of the city’s most in-the-know bloggers to reveal one each of their best secrets, from a cafe with a gangster’s past to a haven…

Once-backwater Greensburg, Kansas, is turning a brand-new, bright green leaf. With a population hovering around 1,500, the town has emerged over the past few months as one of the country’s most progressive, environmentally friendly cities. Rising from the rubble left behind from last May’s devastating 1.7-mile-wide F5 tornado, Greensburg earlier this year became the first…

Free EcoCabs, Eh?

Starting today, a fleet of 28 EcoCabs has descended upon the smoggy streets of downtown Toronto. What’s an EcoCab, you ask? In addition to being an adorably goofy alternative to the iconic yellow cab, the EcoCab runs mostly on a trained driver’s pedal-power (in other words, a modern-day rickshaw) and is powered by a rechargeable…

No Beer at the Inn

The Halal Inn opened last December in Oldham, England, as the first Islamic pub in Britain. Buzzing (albeit a bit hesitantly) with a decidedly sobering business model, the place adheres to a strict no-alcohol policy, opting instead to serve fizzy non-alcoholic juices, drinks, and spritzers. The Daily Mail explains: Pubgoers can play snooker, darts or…

As I deliberated over coffee beans in my neighborhood grocery store, the guy next to me struck up a conversation. It was run-of-the-mill small talk at first, but soon he was swooning over Grape + Bean, a combo wine-and-coffee shop that had just opened in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. Clearly still on a caffeine high from…

Photographer: Jenene Chesbrough, Brooklyn, New York Getting the shot: This shot was taken on opening day of Astroland/Coney Island 2006. Every year my friends and I bike down to hang out, put our feet in the sand, ride the Cyclone, and eat some Nathan’s Famous cheese fries. There were organ grinders and lots of Coney…

China’s New Bus: Zen or Hell?

Ten countries, 16 days, one bus full of intrepid travelers. Sound like the makings for a ridiculous reality TV show? Nope, it’s the Butterfly Bus (which just launched as BuddhaBus, but underwent a spitfire-fast name change to avoid religious offense): an “overland adventure” (in their words). Departing from London, the bus slogs its way to…