Columbus, One of the Fastest-Growing Big American Cities, Is Often Overlooked

I was raised in Ohio, and then I left to earn some degrees and become a professor—a short-lived career that I decided wasn’t for me. But before I exited that exciting life of grading and faculty meetings, it brought me back to Ohio and, so far, I’ve stayed. Ohio is more than the controversial headlines it makes. It’s more than beautiful farmland. It is pinned on almost every corner by creative, vibrant cities, cool, small college towns and historic villages, with a flourishing outdoor world in-between. All of that magic…

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This spot in On Florida has some of the best beaches in Florida

This is the latest in our series on underrated destinations, this world still big. Surrounded by two popular Florida Panhandle destinations—Destin to the west and Panama City beach to the east—it’s easy to miss South Walton if you’re not familiar with the unique beauty hiding just off US Highway 98. Fortunately, I knew exactly where to go when my fiancé and I veered a little south from the main highway. Venturing down scenic Highway 30A, we land at Rosemary Beach, one of 16 towns along the Gulf Coast that make…

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This Midwest City Is Getting Something Right—So Don’t Miss It

It has become almost a fetish of late, visiting those once great American cities whose precipitous rise was followed by a slow demise, an attempt by modernity to kill them by a thousand cuts of highways, parking lots, globalism, and unfriendly buildings. But in those cities–Cleveland, Detroit, Tulsa, St. Louis, and so on–what was left behind by those heady decades at the top of the world is spectacular. Museums filled with loot and lucre from around the world, architecture that revolutionized our lives in concert halls, grand libraries, and palaces…

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A neighborhood in Los Angeles that has it all – you probably haven’t visited

This is the latest in our series on underrated destinations, this world still big. There is something very raw and special about Los Angeles. It’s food (fusion). People (fusion). Architecture (Spanish Mission Revival, Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco, Artisan… AKA fusion). It’s the sunset and the way the sky bends to meet the deep ocean, green and blue as if they were the same. Vibrant, larger-than-life murals designed by Chicano and Mexican-American artists on Cesar Chavez Avenue and throughout the city. I can go on for days because I love Los…

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A Country Best Known for Pyramids Has Epic Beach Adventures

This is the latest edition of our series on underrated destinations, It’s Still a Big World. Ten years ago, the word “Sinai” would have made me think of one of two things—hospitals, which often bear its name, and Sunday school lessons about Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on top of Mount Sinai. I had a vague notion that this mythical place existed somewhere in the Middle East since that’s where all biblical stories took place (Spoiler alert: Jesus wasn’t the blond-haired, blue-eyed European model he was often portrayed as in…

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For This Overlooked Southwest City, the Mountains Are Its Skyline

For This Overlooked Southwest City, the Mountains Are Its Skyline

This is the latest in our twice-a-month series on underrated destinations, It’s Still a Big World. Another tree came crashing down. It fell on a trail leading to Spence Hot Springs, a natural spring north of the greater Albuquerque area, which I was visiting at the invitation of its tourism office. It was also a sign of more to come, as the six days were full of surprises. My drive up on day one started in a desert dust storm with 75 mph gusts that blocked out the mountain views…

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