Travel & Outdoor
National Geographic Traveler

National Geographic Traveler December 2016/January 2017

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
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in this issue

2 min.
editor’s note by george!

Curiosity is the desire to inquire. It pushes us to new places and unlocks secrets about the world and ourselves. Curiosity impels us to ask not only where to go but also why to go. Our annual “Best of the World” issue dives into a new year and builds an itinerary full of the places we love and the experiences that matter now. We’ve picked 21 places to be in 2017—from Malta, for its mix of ancient and modern, to Seoul, for its kinetic glow, to Banff, for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration of cool. We believe that every traveler is an explorer and every journey is an opportunity to discover. We’re kick-starting that journey with a fresh look. “Further,” our brand-new, front-of-the-book global guide to inspired adventures, brings energetic design to…

1 min.
five ways to get wild in the desert

Number One SEE AND BE SEEN DOWNTOWN Whether you’re in the mood for dining, dancing, cocktailing or people-watching – or some of each – downtown Scottsdale’s Entertainment District is the place to see and be seen any night of the week. Number Two DISCOVER COUNTER INTUITIVE This tiny downtown bar is known for its rotating themes, award-winning cocktails and exclusive hours. Check them out Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Number Three TRY IMPROVISATIONAL CUISINE A restaurant with no menu? Welcome to POSH, where every multi-course meal is customized by Chef Joshua Hebert based on your preferences among the ingredients they have on hand. It’s culinary adventure at its finest! Number Four PLAY A DOUBLEHEADER Double your fun (and save a few bucks in the process) with a 36-hole day at one of Scottsdale’s renowned golf courses like…

1 min.
discover istanbul

DISCOVER the Natural Beauty East meets West in Istanbul, where the Bosphorus connects two seas. The area’s greenery and deep turquoise hues enchant all who visit—and no wonder as it’s remarkable to have such natural beauty and two seas right in a city center. DISCOVER the History Istanbul has been the capital of multiple empires, and you’ll piece its history together as you wander the atmospheric city. Explore the wondrous Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern—and keep an eye out for Roman columns across some of Istanbul’s thoroughfares. After all, this Turkish city is so rich in historic ruins that there’s nowhere else to put them. DISCOVER the Cuisine The flavors of one of the world’s greatest cuisines will remain on the tip of your tongue long after you’ve left Istanbul. The memory…

2 min.
erin spencer

1 Spear “This fiberglass pole spear with a three-pronged steel tip uses rubber band tension to propel forward. I can typically get a lionfish in one or two tries, but I still have a long way to go compared to folks who are out on the water all the time. I always have to check the spear on planes. That thing is sharp!” 2 Regulator “My dives typically last anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour, depending on how deep I’m going and how much energy I exert. When I hunt lionfish, I exert more energy. The most difficult part is learning to not breathe through your nose. You have to stick with slow, steady breaths through your regulator.” 3 GoPro “The GoPro is discreet and much cheaper than underwater equipment for DSLR cameras. When…

1 min.
erin’s guide to the florida keys

WHERE TO STAY Rent a cottage at the Island Bay Resort, an intimate waterfront property in Key Largo. Or for longer stays, consider Dove Creek Lodge, also located in Key Largo. WHERE TO SNORKEL You don’t need scuba certification to discover Florida’s marine life, Erin says. “Molasses Reef off Key Largo and Alligator Reef off Islamorada are great for snorkeling. Bahia Honda State Park also has a beautiful beach and offers snorkeling trips out to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, one of my all-time favorite spots.” WHERE TO SAMPLE KEY LIME PIE Her dedicated quest for the best key lime pie has led to some fantastic finds. “My favorite is the classic key lime pie at the Fish House Encore in Key Largo. For a twist, try the key lime freeze at Key Largo’s Mrs.…

1 min.
how to dive for lionfish

Native to the Indo-Pacific, the lionfish is a carnivorous, venomous fish that threatens marine habitats in the western Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. Ocean lover, travel addict, and explorer Erin Spencer has been helping to remove these maroon-and-white-striped fish from ecosystems throughout the Florida Keys since 2013. She also documents the innovative practices local communities use to address the problem of conserving their reefs, from hunting lionfish to serving them at restaurants. For divers wishing to join the fight against this invasive species, Islamorada Dive Center offers the Lionfish Eradication Course, a half-day program that includes two dives and discussions on how the species has affected marine habitats. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation in Key Largo also offers courses on the history of the lionfish invasion and how to…