Travel & Outdoor
National Geographic Traveler

National Geographic Traveler Dec-15 - Jan-16

National Geographic Traveler is the world's most widely read travel magazine. With captivating storytelling and beautiful you-are-there photography, National Geographic Traveler brings you the world’s best destinations. Experience the same high-quality articles and breathtaking photography contained in the print edition.

United States
National Geographic Society
Back issues only
Read More

in this issue

1 min.
the texas shuffle

Sheathed in tin siding and steeped in Lone Star history, ramshackle Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco, Texas, is a folksy fold in the space-time continuum, a portal to an era when dance halls were common and honky-tonk was nightly. More than a thousand dance halls once dotted Texas, most of them built by 19th-century German and Czech immigrants, but time has taken its toll. Urbanization, assimilation, and neglect have silenced all but 400 of these hubs, where jigs, jives, and waltzes once ruled. Twin Sisters, which opened in 1870, is among the oldest. “A part of Texas dies every time a hall is lost,” says Deb Fleming, president of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, an organization dedicated to saving the spaces that stir Saturday night fevers. What can visitors expect…

1 min.
dad jokes allowed

Comedian Jim Gaffigan, who shares a two-bedroom apartment in New York City with his wife and five young kids, has a family life that’s a natural fit for a sitcom. The semibiographical Jim Gaffigan Show stars the comic as he navigates time with his growing brood and the stand-up circuit. In reality, Gaffigan maintains a pretty good balance between the two; his family joined him on his month-long bus tour across the United States this past summer. HAS TRAVEL INFLUENCED ANY OF YOUR BITS? Absolutely. I think comedians actually have to struggle to not have travel be the predominant thing in their stand-up because they deal with it so much on a daily basis. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS? We make our two oldest ones journal about each city…

1 min.
tracking the force

They may not be in a galaxy far, far away, but exotic locales such as the soaring sand dunes of Abu Dhabi and Iceland’s bubbling calderas help give Star Wars: The Force Awakens—which hits theaters in December—an otherworldly spirit similar to the original trilogy’s. Die-hard fans ritually tour Star Wars film sites, yet in the most recent prequel films, CGI replaced most location shooting. But for Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams, real sets were the priority. Rub al Khali, the desert landscape outside of Abu Dhabi known for its nearly thousand-foot-high sand dunes, represents Jakku, a newly introduced planet filled with starship wreckage. There’s a rumor of a future Star Wars museum at nearby Saadiyat Island, where a Louvre and the world’s largest Guggenheim are being built. At Iceland’s Krafla volcano,…

1 min.
indulging in the islands

THE ISLAND HOUSE Nassau, Bahamas On an island of soft sand beaches and big resorts, this newly built, 30-room inn feels like a cool, contemporary vacation home—if your vacation home included its own 48-seat cinema. Guests and locals catch a movie just steps from the airy lobby, which is brightened by Bahamian art. There’s also a spa, a lap pool, and spicy wagyu beef salad for dinner—which happens all the time at your vacation home, too, right? From $550. CONDADO VANDERBILT HOTEL San Juan, Puerto Rico Jay Gatsby would have approved of this revitalized grande dame, a Roaring Twenties haunt of royalty and movie stars amid the shopping-and-nightlife buzz of the Condado neighborhood. A 2014 renovation added two all-suite towers, a spa, and an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. But in the…

1 min.
a grand reading tour

THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS By Eric Weiner Following up on his bestselling The Geography of Bliss, Weiner travels to Athens, Hangzhou, Florence (above), Edinburgh, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley to investigate why quantum leaps of intellect seem to occur in certain places at certain times. HUNTERS IN THE DARK By Lawrence Osborne Osborne recalls Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham with this densely atmospheric novel of foreigners and locals navigating fortune and fate among the lush rice fields of Cambodia. THE WAY AROUND: FINDING MY MOTHER AND MYSELF AMONG THE YANOMAMI By David Good The son of an American anthropologist and of a woman from the Yanomami tribe, Good ventures from his New Jersey home into the heart of the Amazon to reconnect with his mother. LIFE AND DEATH IN THE ANDES By Kim…

1 min.
periscope it out

The Periscope app is like Google Street View come to life, with locals to show you around. The video stream is live, so hosts can answer questions you type in real time. Here are our three favorite travel ’Scopers to follow. Don’t be misled by her Kiwi accent: Tour guide and New Zealand transplant @ClaireWad has lived in Paris for 20 years. She cruises neighborhoods on foot and bicycle, exploring courtyards and cafés, letting her followers choose her adventure by asking questions like “Shall I go in this church?” or “Shall I hop on this riverboat?” @PenguinSix, an American expat living in Hong Kong, films his hike on Victoria Peak almost every morning. Sometimes he takes public transit (subways, ferries) as he talks about life in the city. He’s even filmed from…