In 1911, skiers first completed the Haute Route: a six-day, 46-mile traverse through the skyscraping peaks between Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland. Since then, the Haute Route has become a rite of passage for adventurous skiers.

For more than a quarter of a century I’ve traveled Ireland’s western coast, up from the filigreed fringe of west Cork, along the lakes of Killarney, to the world-class golf links of Ballybunion and Lahinch, to Yeats country in Sligo, meeting people who give me yet another reason to come back.

Some years ago Alexander McCall Smith started to write a serial novel, “44 Scotland Street,” set in Edinburgh. “In this series—now in its ninth volume—I wanted to explain why it was that this city should so beguile those who come to know it, why each morning makes me feel as if I am waking up to a continuing love affair with the place in which I live.”

Avid traveler and Venezuelan national Andreina Pantin moved to Panama in 2009, and has been exploring the ins and outs of its capital city ever since. Adreina believes that “to love a place, it is important to know it, its people, and its culture,” and practices what she preaches by blogging about her ongoing discoveries in and around Panama City. Here are a few of her favorite things about the cultural crossroads she calls home.

Nat Geo Travel associate producer Megan Heltzel recently returned from a trip to Music City. Here are some of the high points of her trip to the Tennessee capital, in her own words.

The Wolves of Yellowstone

If you’re looking for wolves, Yellowstone is a good place. And winter provides the best odds of seeing them.

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 March.

Avid traveler Risto Kuulasmaa has explored monasteries in Bhutan, trekked across deserts in the Middle East, hiked across Iceland, and then some. Despite his wanderlust, the Scandinavian television producer has proudly called the “hassle-free, pocket-size metropolis” of Helsinki home for the past 12 years. Here are a few of Risto’s favorite things about Finland’s capital city.

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web.

Chicago is as famous for Wrigley Field and deep-dish pizza as it is for its neighborhoods. See the Windy City in style by making one of these boutique hotels your home base.

The sharing economy requires sharing—with real people. That can be a peril, especially for those who need to maximize time, but it’s mostly a plus.

Despite her many travels, Melissa Mederos cannot imagine calling any place but Miami home. The Magic City native is as up for an urban adventure as she is for exploring the abundant natural splendor that surrounds her city (think the Everglades and the Keys). Here are a few of Melissa’s favorite things about her hometown paradise.

A landscape sliced by streets where horse-drawn carriages roll by and locals go about their daily errands on foot or bicycle may call to mind a bygone era. But, in fact, a journey to a simpler time is exactly what many car-free islands in Europe offer amid the clamor of modern life.

Just Back: Lisbon

Traveler editorial assistant and California native Kevin Kunitake recently made his first hop across the pond. Where did he land? Portugal. In addition to the trip being his first to Europe, it also marked his debut as a solo traveler. And compact, friendly Lisbon ended up being the perfect introduction to both. Here are some of the high…

Ana Maria Malpartida was born an ocean away from Zurich, but that hasn’t stopped her from calling Switzerland’s biggest city home. The Peruvian-born, Swiss-at-heart foodie spends most of her time—and a good portion of her salary—searching out the best eats in Zurich and sharing her finds with the world on Spotted By Locals. Here’s a look at Ana Maria’s adopted hometown through her unique lens.

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web.

Kitesurfing is guaranteed to help your spirit soar. “[It] feels like what I imagine it must be like flying around heaven,” says Brendon Held of “inMotion Kitesurfing” magazine. When it comes to giving the sport a whirl, few places rival the Turks and Caicos. This dreamy collection of Caribbean islands north of Hispaniola and east of Cuba dazzles with miles of warm, shallow turquoise water and sand so fine it feels like fairy dust. Factor in locals who exude a relaxed, friendly vibe, and you have all the ingredients for a perfect tropical adventure.

National Geographic Traveler editor at large Christopher Elliott is the magazine’s consumer advocate and ombudsman. Over the past 15 years he has helped countless readers fix their trips. Here’s his latest advice.

National Geographic Traveler researcher Christine Blau touched down in Austin, Texas, hoping to take a break from winter. Instead, she was greeted with uncharacteristically cold and rainy weather that shocked locals. While visions of frolicking in beloved green spaces like Barton Springs or Pedernales Falls State Park were dashed, Christine discovered that the Austin area exudes year-round charm. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

What do National Geographic staffers bring back from their travels? Here’s a peek into our baggage.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Here are five travel factoids to help prove it.

Even though Nicole Brewer hails from Detroit, Michigan, she has made the world her home. After stints in South Korea, Germany, and South Africa, Nicole decided to take a job as an English instructor in Nizwa, Oman. When she’s not at the head of the class, she’s hard at work building I Luv 2 Globetrot, a blog she co-founded with a…

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 February.

Conservation photographer and National Geographic Explorer Carlton Ward, Jr., has been captivated by Florida’s Everglades National Park since he was a child, so much so that he’s made protecting it—and the amazing wildlife that lives there—his life’s work. Here’s a look at the ecological wonderland through his unique lens.

Planes, trains, and automobiles certainly provide travelers with an edge when it comes to getting the most mileage out of Europe’s dreamy, castle-flecked landscapes. But there’s a price to pay: We end up being passive observers, rather than participants in the journey itself. For an intimate travel experience alive with nature and a sense of history, train your sights on these five routes.