Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Indulge at One of the World’s Most Famous Hotels, The Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe

Cabana, Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, ZimbabweOriginally conceived as accommodations for workers constructing a railway through Africa, The Victoria Falls Hotel today could never be imagined for such a humble beginning. Indeed, this five-star, luxurious hotel now hosts monarchs, presidents, and the über-wealthy, boasting everything you would expect from one of The Leading Hotels of the World: flawless service, beautiful grounds, great views, and superb dining, all mixed with a remarkable history and fine architecture. Read more >

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Aus, Namibia: Outstanding Food in an Out-of-the-Way Locale That Translates to “Out”

On the recommendation of our travel agent at &Beyond, my brother, sister-in-law, and I broke up our drive through southern Namibia with a stop for lunch in the little town of Aus, with a population of less than 800. It seemed an odd place to find sustenance: hot and arid (but with the coldest winters ever recorded in the country), lonely and quiet. Even the name could be a deterrent: In German, aus means “out”; in the local Khoekhoe language, it means “place of the snakes.” Despite all that, we found the terrifically charming Bahnhof Hotel and its fantastic restaurant to be both welcoming and memorable. Read more >


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Big or Small, Amsterdam’s Museums Are Among the World’s Finest

Tulip Museum, Amsterdam, the NetherlandsWhen I found myself finally able to turn away from Amsterdam’s irresistible canals and canal houses, gorgeous churches, inviting parks, and romantic bridges, or when I was simply faced with a rainy Dutch day, I turned my attention to the city’s museums. About 75 museums scattered around the capital of the Netherlands appeal to a very broad audience, no matter what your interest. From major art and history museums to those with a very specialized focus (say, for instance, diamonds, Heineken, or hash, marijuana, and hemp), these cultural institutions should play a major role in your visit here, but with so many choices, you’ll have to select carefully. Read about the top five museums in Amsterdam >


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Big Flavors at Big Water Grille

My family was celebrating both the pending nuptials of my brother, and my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. So seven of us converged on Big Water Grille, a fantastic restaurant that has been tucked into the mountains in Incline Village, Nevada, for more than 20 years. Overlooking Lake Tahoe from the northeast, the views vie with the menu, and you’ll love both equally as you celebrate a special occasion, or no particular occasion at all. Read about Big Water Grille >


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Vicksburg National Military Park: The Civil War and a Lesson in Division

Arkansas Monument, Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MississippiThe threat of yet another idiotic government shutdown in Washington, D.C., was endangering my plan for the next day while I was traveling around Mississippi. If the shutdown proceeded, national parks would close, and I had already planned to spend multiple hours at Vicksburg National Military Park. Fortunately, saner heads prevailed, the shutdown was averted, and I found the gate to the park opened when I arrived — the entrance into one of the top Civil War historic sites in the United States. Read more about it >


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Hidden Jewels Far From Croatia’s Coast in the City of Varaždin

Keglevic Palace, Varazdin, CroatiaWhether you’re traveling by car, bus, foot, or sailboat, the spectacular coast of Croatia, with its beaches, islands, and coastal cities and towns will etch its way into your memory as one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. But I also wanted to see the interior of the country, where the vibe is decidedly un-Mediterranean and you know you’re in Central Europe. That meant time in Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and a day trip to the lovely city of Varaždin. A two-hour train ride from the capital affords views of the countryside and the occasional pheasant wandering by. Once I arrived here, however, it was all about the flowers and parks as well as a wonderful collection of baroque and rococo architecture. Read more about the top five buildings in Varaždin >


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Meals That Match the Mood in Glacier National Park

Ptarmigan Dining Room, Glacier National ParkI was tucked about six miles inside Montana’s spectacular Glacier National Park, not far from the Canadian border, staying in a rustic room in Many Glacier Hotel, the largest hotel in the park. Sprawling along the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake, the hotel has been seducing travelers here since 1915, lured by its Alpine style, staggering views of some of the most pristine nature in the United States, nearness to wildlife, and myriad outdoor activities. If all that weren’t enough to entice you here, the hotel boasts an outstanding restaurant that perfectly caps your day spent in the wilderness. Read about the Ptarmigan Dining Room >