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March 22, 2012

Winter Is Dead! Long Live Winter!

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Snowboarder admires Grand Tetons from slopes of Grand Targhee, Wyoming (Michael Petrik)

Although winter's a fading memory—or barely a memory, if you had weather like we had in balmy D.C.—we're offering one last chance to admire the chilly majesty of Old Man Winter here on Last month, we asked you to enter your most inspirational photos in our Winter Dream Destinations Contest, and you obliged with an avalanche of your favorite snow- and ice-covered moments. The chill set in from Alaska to Antarctica, Lake Tahoe to Lapland, but the one that captured our frosty hearts was the above shot of the Grand Tetons doing a wintery "striptease" in front of skiers and snowboarders at Wyoming's Grand Targhee Resort. Makes us want to brew up a cup of cocoa and watch the rest of the show! Congratulations to Ohio-based reader Michael Petrik, who wins a $100 VISA gift card for his entry.

Have a great photo that captures your love of travel? This month we're asking our readers to send in their most inspirational Caribbean scene. Or stay tuned in April for our National Parks Dream Destination contest!

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Related Topics: News · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Photography

February 17, 2012

Announcing Monthly Photo Contest: Win a $100 VISA Gift Card

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New Zealand Snowboarder(iStockphoto,Thinkstock)
Our Winter Inspiration: Snowboarding in New Zealand (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Someone wise once said that a picture is worth a thousand words and here at, we wholeheartedly agree.  A photo can capture our imagination and inspire us to pack our bags and hit the road. And because we're all about inspiration around here, we've debuted a monthly photo contest that gives you, our loyal readers and trusty travelers, a chance to stir that worldly desire in someone sitting at their desk thousands of miles away. 

This month we want to see some of your best winter destinations. The most inspirational photo will win a $100 VISA gift card!

Continue reading "Announcing Monthly Photo Contest: Win a $100 VISA Gift Card" »

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Related Topics: News · Free Stuff · Travel Photography · Trip Ideas

January 20, 2012

Dream Destination Photo Contest: And the Winner Is…

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McWay Falls, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur (Heidi Haas)

From sunrises to sunsets, mountains to marketplaces, we've winnowed down the hundreds of entries in our Dream Destination Photo Contest to the winning shot: this photograph of California's McWay Falls, taken by reader Heidi Haas. In our quest to find the most inspirational travel photograph, the judges felt this image, featuring an 80-foot cascade dropping into restless Pacific Ocean swell, captured travel's sense of wonder as you round that bend to discover something new and unexpected. It also shows a moment where childhood memories of past vacations converge with the present—in her caption entry, Heidi details how she visited Big Sur as a child on a family vacation and was inspired to return 13 years later to check off the one place they'd bypassed on that trip.

For those of you wishing to trace Heidi's footsteps, McWay Falls is just one scenic highlight along a road, California Highway One, packed with a lifetime of iconic twists and turns. The waterfall is located at the end of an easy half-mile trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Other trails in the park include a 4.5-mile hike through stands of towering redwood trees and a short mile-long path that cuts through rock onto a quiet cove frequented by sea otters.

Read's Pacific Coast Highway Vacations Guide

Congratulations to Heidi, who wins a pair of round-trip airline tickets, plus a big thanks to everyone who took part. Stay tuned for our next great photo contest at the beginning of February—keep those cameras at the ready!

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December 21, 2011

Photo Contest Update: Traveling Around the World in the Footsteps of Our Readers

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Having just closed's inaugural Dream Destination Photo Contest, we're now thrilled to be traveling vicariously via your fantastic submissions in the quest to pinpoint our winning entry. Look out for an announcement in the first week of January. During our month-long search for our readers' most inspiring photo, we received entries for pictures taken on every continent except Antarctica. Of the over 80 countries and 37 states that were represented, the most-photographed destinations were Paris, Oahu, Rome, Santorini, and Venice. Other locations were as far-flung as Afghanistan, Burma, and Iraq. Mountains, seascapes, and sunsets/sunrises were your favorite compositional subjects. Here at HQ, we've loved indulging in some primo armchair travel throughout the month, so thanks to everyone who took part—and here's to more great adventures in 2012! Safe travels over the holiday season.

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July 15, 2011

The Mural Project: San Francisco's Balmy Alley

Oscar Romero by Juana Alicia

The Mission in San Francisco is arguably one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, its narrow sidewalks densely populated with taco joints, head shops, dive bars, and street vendors cooking bacon-wrapped hot dogs on makeshift grills propped next to a station wagon. Even the alleyways compete for your attention—and none more so than Balmy, a block-long stretch off 24th Street. Mural painting has a decades-long history in the Mission, and Balmy boasts some of the city’s best urban art, with pieces that range from classical visages of the Virgin Mary to contemporary pieces that address the ‘hood’s struggles to retain its identity in the face of burgeoning gentrification. Here's a preview of just a few of the sights in Balmy Alley.'s San Francisco Travel Guide

Continue reading "The Mural Project: San Francisco's Balmy Alley" »

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Related Topics: Travel Photography · US Travel

January 14, 2011

Introducing Adam Barker, Featured Photographer

courtesy Adam Barker Photography 

The first time I ever met Adam Barker, he was a fresh-faced ski-bum just graduated from the University of Utah and working what he thought was his dream gig in the marketing department of the Ski Utah. The job afforded him more days on skis than in the office every winter, bringing journalists out to experience the five-percent powder covering the Wasatch Mountains west of his hometown Salt Lake City. Which was pretty similar to where I was in life at the time, an assistant editor at Skiing Magazine recently off a post-college stint in Breckenridge, skiing as much as I was writing. I took Adam to be one of the legions of Ski People, as I dubbed them. Someone whose primary career goal was "spend as days on snow as possible." Little did I know that Adam would turn into one of the best outdoors photographers in the game today. 

See Adam Barker's Grand Teton National Park photo gallery here. 

Continue reading "Introducing Adam Barker, Featured Photographer" »

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Related Topics: Outdoor Adventures · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Photography

December 23, 2010

Photo Spotlight: Heli-Skiing in British Columbia

(Nathan Borchelt)

Just in time to inspire a New Year's Resolution you really want to keep, we present a virtual tour of British Columbia's seldom-seen ski resorts, cat-skiing operations, and heli-skiing—all rolled into one convenient and tempting package present by Snowwater.

The Kootenay Sampler offers seven days of serious skiing or riding, including a day at Red Resort, two days of cat-skiing with Valhalla Powdercats, a down day at Ainsworth Hot Springs, and three days of heli-skiing in 150,000 acres of the snow-choked Selkirk Mountains.  Peak season (Jan 15-March 15) packages run $5,400 (Canadian), and shoulder-season (Before Jan 15 and after March 15, conditions permitting) packages cost $4,400 for a seven-day trip, and $3,350 for six days. Prices include all food and lodging at the company's plush backcountry digs (gourmet cuisine, hot tubs, expertly-prepped cocktails).

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Related Topics: Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Deals · Travel Photography

September 29, 2010

Photo of the Day: Paradise Valley, Montana

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Paradise Valley, Park County, Montana(Gordon Wiltsie,Nat Geo,Getty)
Paradise Valley, Montana (Gordon Wiltsie)

Following the Yellowstone River in Montana is an expanse of earth bestowed “Paradise Valley”—perhaps it’s the majestic mountain ranges that set apart the east and the west or the natural hot springs that bubble up from underground, or maybe it’s the green wildflower meadows—either way, it's befittingly named. Autumn is the season that locals live for—mountain sides dance with the brilliant hue of golden cottonwoods, ranch gardens supply entire meals, and anglers are met with a plentiful catch in the area’s pristine waters.

Click here to see more travel photos or to sign up for our free "Your Daily Escape," a newsletter featuring unique destinations complete with travel tips, articles, and some of the most stunning travel photos meant for your computer desktop. An escape delivered straight to your inbox.   

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September 08, 2010

Travel Photography Tip: Shoot from the Hip


As much as we all agree that the advent of digital photography made everything much easier when it came to capturing the epic images of your travels, the one lost element of the old film days that I occasionally lament remains the element of surprise. In the days of film speeds and a max of 36 exposures, you never really knew what you'd get until you had the film developed. Patience became a necessity. And when you picked up the pictures and negatives, flipping through the photos was like revisiting the trip days after you returned. The only rule of thumb: if you got two or three usable photos out of a roll, you did good. 

Continue reading "Travel Photography Tip: Shoot from the Hip" »

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Related Topics: Dispatches from the Road · European Travel · Travel Photography · Travel Tips

August 05, 2010

Travel to Bhutan with a National Geographic Photographer

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Bhutan(Christopher Potter)
(Christopher Potter)

WorldNomads (in partnership with the National Geographic Channel and JoJo's Adventures Bhutan) is offering the chance for one exceptional individual to go on assignment with renowned wildlife photographer Jason Edwards to the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Photograph the deeply spiritual and mystical Bhutan as it slowly opens to the modern world, maintaining a strong balance with its ancient traditions. Nestled in the Himalayas, bordering India and China, 65 percent of Bhutan is under forest cover, making its pristine ecology home to rare and endangered flora and fauna.

To help the winner take the best photos, the scholarship recipient will receive $1,800 worth of Pentax photographic equipment of their choice.

The best photos will be published on the National Geographic Channel's website, where they will be viewed by thousands of travelers worldwide.

Continue reading "Travel to Bhutan with a National Geographic Photographer" »

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Related Topics: Asia Travel · Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Travel Photography

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