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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.

The best day hikes have an element of quest, or mission, which is why so many of them climb to the top of a mountain or a landmark. Such is the case with many of the hikes presented below. But there’s no serious mountain trekking here—the point of each hike is the experience of getting there—and the inspiring view gained at the quest’s end.

Oakland is enjoying a moment in the sun right now, as evidenced by a recent spate of media hits and amorous outpourings on social networks. But after Nat Geo photographer Catherine Karnow and I spent time there on assignment, we both left convinced that the city’s ascent isn’t fleeting, but one that will have a long tail, bolstered by a steady stream of colorful shop and restaurant openings and an influx of equally colorful characters seeking lower rents and a less stressful lifestyle.

#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.

Born and raised in the U.K., Cecily Layzell hopped the pond to Amsterdam a decade ago and has been keeping it continental ever since. When she’s not scoping out the latest restaurant and bars in the Dutch capital for her website, Eat Amsterdam, the food and travel writer spends her time freelancing for publications all around the globe. Here are a few of her favorite things about the Venice of the North.

When summer arrives, I think of road trips. This is partly because the summer road trip is one of those life-defining rites of passage, at least for Americans, and partly because it’s the season in which my most memorable road trips have taken place. But the journey that comes back to me most poignantly each time the weather turns warm is a road trip I made though France the summer after I graduated from college.

It’s not easy to get out from under the shadow of a place like Brazil’s Pantanal—a natural wetland bigger than England and home to a biodiversity bonanza of such rare species as the tapir and the jaguar. Yet the town of Bonito, on the Pantanal’s border, is emerging as one of Brazil’s favorite adventure outposts­.

Few cities rival Hong Kong when it comes to hotels. Choices range from some of the most expensive and indulgent in the world–the city boasts two Mandarin Orientals–to dirt-cheap hostels as well as a big range of hip yet reasonable new properties in between. Here are my favorites.

American Anthem: Baltimore

As America commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it seems more than appropriate to celebrate the events that made that independence real. While Washington, D.C., may be the capital of the U.S., her sister city to the north, Baltimore, is the capital of American patriotism.