Travel off the Beaten Path

Georgia (the country)

Offbeat finds, budget prices, rich cuisine and culture, no tourists.

Google “Georgia,” and you are much more likely to get recipes for peach pie than to learn about the unique ex-Soviet republic where wine was invented and a special language and culture survived a thousand ...

Love in the Kingdom of Jordan

"Never before or since have I felt like such an honored guest."

It doesn’t seem possible, but my Jordanian friend insists that he is now married. I look carefully into Awad’s dark eyes, magnified by the thick lenses of his black framed glasses, to see if he’s ...

Small-town Italy: a Tuscan welcome, Greve in Chianti

8th in a series. Derek Ray finds good wine and the simple life in Tuscany.

While visiting Florence, I took the opportunity to spend a few nights in a little town about 30 kilometers to the south called Greve in Chianti. The Chianti region, well known for its Chianti Classico ...

Afton Canyon: Grand Canyon of the Mojave

Check out this desert highlight on the way to Vegas.

Often called the Grand Canyon of The Mojave, Afton Canyon is a little-known gem along the road to Vegas, excellent for a pit stop or a quiet camping trip (never mind the trains; they're part ...

Dharma Travel: Vedic City, Iowa

Enlightenment found amidst the cornfields.

"Transcendental meditation (TM) is a simple technique practiced for about 15–20 minutes sitting comfortably in a chair with the eyes closed,” reads the literature. I’m sorry – I’m with Elizabeth Gilbert. Sounds way easier said ...

Caño Cristales, Colombia

The region's blood-red river, and other anomalies.

The army sharpshooter looks us up and down, his anti-guerrilla livery emblazoned on a tightly wound bandana. He establishes quickly that we represent no threat, shows us his rifle and smiles, revealing braces. Incongruous, I ...

What to do in Barrow, Alaska

"Walk around."

"Going all the way to Barrow?" the Alaska Air ticketing agent confirms somewhat incredulously. "Yes." "And just one of you traveling today?" "Yes." "You're fortunate the flight is leaving as scheduled. It's rather cold there ...

Budget-friendly Sofia, Bulgaria

Word to the wise: get here before the tourists do.

Most travelers are unaware that Bulgaria is one of the best travel values in Europe and its capital, Sofia, is one of the cheapest cities to visit. The country has more green space than most ...

Ohio's best-kept secret: state park lodges

An unexpected find in the Buckeye State.

Last summer, I stayed with a close friend of mine for almost three months in a small city called Stowe, Ohio. Not once during my local travels and explorations of the Buckeye State did I ...

Ghost towns of New Mexico

Way off-the-beaten-path kicks on Route 66.

After a recent trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was faced with the difficult question of how to keep entertained on the desolate 280-mile trek to my next stop, Amarillo, Texas. The only thing ...

A nature lover in Langkawi

Up close and personal with wildlife in the Malaysian rainforest.

Close your eyes. Now imagine a long stretch of dazzling white sand and the sun setting over the Andaman Sea. That's where I'm writing from. It's an island called Langkawi in northwest Malaysia. Currently flying ...