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When the Birthplace of Country Music opened in August of 2014, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum let the world in on a secret musicians have known for generations: The roots of American music run deep in Bristol, a onetime Appalachian railroad boomtown straddling the Tennessee-Virginia border.

While riding a sleek bullet train in Taiwan recently, where the towering Taipei 101 skyscraper stands as testament to the country’s economic bustle, I never expected that a mere hour of cycling would locate me in a living, breathing haiku: a physical experience that occupies a brief moment in time, but, though simple, presents a great depth of experience.

Forget Nordic noir. I’m on the Bohuslän Coast, puttering between smooth gray granite islands topped by red cottages. This 112-mile stretch from Gothenburg to the Norwegian border on Sweden’s west coast—or the “best coast,” as some call this playland of villages and 8,000 islands and islets—has always been a summertime magnet for locals.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

The Radar—the latest and best 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. Here are our newest picks.

Marta Macedo was born and raised in Porto and came to realize just how much she loved her city while she was studying abroad. “People may live their lives trying to figure out where their home is,” she says. “Being away made me realize that Porto truly is home for me.” After traveling the world, Marta returned to her beloved port city and started sharing her hometown pride on Spotted by Locals. Here are a few of her favorite things about Portugal’s second largest city.

It’s one thing to stand in a place where a historic event transpired a thousand years ago. It’s entirely different to stand in a spot where history was made during your own lifetime. This lesson resonated for me recently on a mind-expanding trip to Berlin.

Spending an art-filled day museum-hopping in New York City with my twin girls is even better than front-row seats at a Laurie Berkner concert—an equal thrill for the three of us with none of the jostling.

I have never received as many concerned messages as I did on a recent trip to Egypt. The nation has made headlines lately, and few have been positive. Realities on the ground in Luxor, though, were different.

Nothing screams vacation quite like a sandy beach, clear blue water, and a fruity drink. To inspire a bit of summer wanderlust (or to help with your winter escape plans), we recently asked our Facebook fans to tell us their favorite island getaways in the world. Their answers ranged from large archipelagos to tiny islands we had to look up on a map, but one thing is for sure—their picks will keep you daydreaming for days.

Hoping to witness democracy in action in D.C.? Head to Union Market, a new seat of culinary power northeast of the U.S. Capitol that’s as much of a throwback as it is progressive. Here in an up-and-coming neighborhood known as NoMA, what was once a gloomy warehouse has been transformed into a bright gathering place.

The first national park east of the Mississippi, Acadia National Park comprises nearly 50,000 acres of rocky coastline in southern Maine. This glorious patchwork of parkland, private property, and seaside villages seasonally fills with what residents call “the summer people”—visitors getting their fill of the scenic splendor and serenity that Acadia has to offer in spades. Here’s an insider’s guide to New England’s crown jewel written by one of the park rangers that knows it best.

The fastest-growing water sport in the world, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) was born in the Hawaiian Islands, and with calm jungle rivers and 50 miles of beaches, Kauai is one of the best places for the sport. Here’s the why and how.