Travel & Outdoor
National Geographic Traveler

National Geographic Traveler October/November 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!

When I dream of travel, my dream circles the globe, unconstrained by geography or reason. The sun shines all the time, people are always happy, every day is limitless. But when I build a real itinerary, I acknowledge that the world is only occasionally a place of dreams and that the gift of travel is to awaken to destinations as they truly are—bliss, strife, and the space between. In this issue we examine nuances of happiness on inward and outward journeys that support our motto to “Travel With Passion and Purpose.” We seek illumination on a cultural tour of India. We unravel a family secret in volcanic Sicily. In our essay “Truth & Dare,” our author navigates a storm of personal loss through audacious, outwardly bound exploits. And we spotlight 20…

1 min.
higgins built the boat to win the war.

With the United States on the cusp of WWII, the military needed a better way to land troops on enemy shores. Andrew Higgins, a New Orleans shipbuilder with a history of helping trappers, oil-drillers, and bootleggers navigate shallow waterways had just the thing. Over a four-year-period, Higgins Industries built 20,094 boats for the Allied war effort, the most notable being the PT boats as well as the landing craft which allowed troops to storm over an open beach. President Eisenhower declared Andrew Higgins “the man who won the war for us.” Today, the National WWII Museum stands in New Orleans as a testament to this accomplishment. Visit New Orleans and start your story with #OneTimeInNOLA. OneTimeInNOLA.com…

1 min.

Line Dancing PHOTOGRAPH BY DIEGO AZUBEL/EPA/REDUX Chinese performers take the phrase “all the world’s a stage” to new heights as they participate in the cultural spectacle Impression Lijiang, held high in the mountains of China’s southwestern Yunnan Province. Bringing together dancers and singers from 10 local ethnic groups, the production—held year-round and supervised by the director of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games’ opening ceremony, Zhang Yimou—weaves together the story of the area’s peoples and traditions. Looming above the performance is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, providing a backdrop more dramatic than any found on Broadway.…

1 min.
rock of ages

Paleoanthropologist and Nat Geo Emerging Explorer Genevieve von Petzinger descends into ancient caves to study Ice Age art. Standing in front of a painting made some 20,000 years ago, she says, “bridges the gap of time.” How about rock-art sites as destinations? Von Petzinger, author of The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols, recommends making tracks to these three Ice Age hot spots, all in Europe. 1 Dordogne in France This area in southwest France has multiple caves with well-preserved Ice Age art, including the famed Lascaux Cave. Two von Petzinger picks are near the village Les Eyzies-de-Tayac: Les Combarelles, with engravings of animals and human figures, and Fontde-Gaume cave, with colorful rock paintings. Don’t miss Rouffignac Cave’s drawings of mammoths. 2 Cantabria in Spain El Castillo Cave holds some…

1 min.
mini guide

“The colors in the water change and blend and dissolve, producing marvel after marvel …” —Mark Twain, on Lake Lucerne Fairy tales and dragons. Alpine peaks and mirror lakes. Trains that run like clockwork and clocks that chime like songbirds. Breakfasts to rise for. Chocolate to die for. The stereotypes of Switzerland are the superlatives of many other destinations. When we need our Swiss fix of medieval squares, church spires, and covered bridges, we head straight to Lucerne. With the snowcapped peak of Mount Pilatus looming in the distance (look for its legendary dragons circling the summit), this city blends the best of tradition—cafés serving hot chocolate or Swiss wine along the Reuss River—with bracing innovation (the Swiss Museum of Transport is a monument to geek-chic marvels of momentum, from trains…

2 min.
lakeside slumbers

NEW CLASSIC TRENDY Along the northern shore of Lake Lucerne sits the regal GRAND HOTEL NATIONAL ( ● ), a 41-room, neo-Renaissance-meetsbaroque landmark. Co-founded around the turn of the 20th century by famed hotelier César Ritz and pioneering chef Auguste Escoffier, the hotel continues a tradition of culinary excellence with four restaurants, a café, and a lakeside terrace and bar. Perched on a forested ridge above Lake Lucerne, the BÜRGENSTOCK RESORT ( ● ) has assembled three historic hotels—once frequented by such stars as Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren—into one glamorous, health-focused retreat. Spread over 148 acres, the 370-room resort includes a 107,000-square-foot spa, indoor and outdoor pools (one heated in winter), tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, 43 miles of hiking and biking trails, and a private beach on the lake for…