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When World War I broke out, the Dolomites became a treacherous front line for Austrian and Italian soldiers. Here among the jagged peaks and sheer pastel walls of this ancient range of the Alps, where many cultures had coexisted for centuries, soldiers on both sides built networks of bolted-down steel cables, called via ferrata, to move supplies quickly—and for other missions, too.

Here on Salt Spring Island in western Canada, inside a 20-foot-wide canvas yurt—modeled after the round, portable dwellings of nomads in Mongolia and Central Asia—I feel closer to nature than ever. And yet the first thing I do upon waking is reach above me, retrieve my iPod Touch from the headboard, and refresh my Gmail inbox. In a matter of seconds, I find myself present everywhere but here.

Music festival season is in full swing. To help our readers wade through the ever-growing list of options, we asked our Facebook fans to give us the lowdown on their favorite aural extravaganzas. So, turn up your favorite tunes, and join us on a tour of stand-out summer music festivals around the world.

It’s fish boil time on Wisconsin’s scenic Door Peninsula. Like its cousin, the New England clambake, the tradition grew out of a community coming together to celebrate local bounty. Poaching the day’s catch with potatoes was a custom brought over by the region’s Scandinavian settlers and no doubt sustained many a soul on these rocky, wind-whipped shores. Here’s where to sample the best fish boil in Wisconsin.

Have you ever wondered what makes an award-winning photograph? Here’s your chance to find out. Join the judges of the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest for a Google+ Hangout On Air, and get the inside scoop on how they chose this year’s winners (they’ll be announced at the end of July!) from more than 18,000 submissions.

Minnesota native and self-described travel addict Shanna Schultz makes a habit out of exploring the world—and of sharing tales of her adventures on her blog. But, not one to forget her roots, Shanna is also passionate about the things that make the Midwestern U.S. unique (check out her musings on A Midwest Travel Companion). Here are a few of her favorite things about her half of the Twin Cities.

To experience Kobayashi Kiyochika’s woodblock prints depicting a 19th-century Tokyo in flux is to experience the foreshadowing of film noir.

Fear-packing is what happens in that last 24 hours before your departure—when your mind starts to play tricks on you. In my case, the fears usually surround what the kids might need. I must pack, I tell myself, to account for every possible mishap. Here’s what’s wrong with that approach, and how to make a course correction.

Andrew McCarthy journeyed all the way to India in search of the perfect Darjeeling, and wrote about the experience for Traveler magazine, but you don’t have to go around the globe to sip on some of the world’s best brews. Here’s a list of teas that are steeped in local tradition—and how you can try them at home.

The dog days stretch out in front of us in all their indolent or pulse-quickening glory, depending on your style. This sunny season is paved with compelling stories to be lazily read by the beach or gobbled up on a long-haul flight to your next adventure. Our summer reading list of new #TripLit ranges from fiction to memoir, but each read evokes a great sense of place—and is sure to inspire future travel.

For Nat Geo Travel Books Senior Editor Barbara A. Noe, going on a run is the best way to get oriented in a new city, and a great way to take in the sights. So lace up your sneaks and read on to get Barbara’s tips on where to run in some of the world’s greatest places—and what to see along the way.

On a recent visit to San Francisco, I was fortunate to have Nat Geo photographer Catherine Karnow as a companion and guide. As we explored the city in her zippy convertible, we made a point to venture across the bridge to Marin County, where Catherine makes her home. Here’s a list of ten of our favorite places experiences–on both sides of the bay.