Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Drinking Your Way Around Mendoza, Argentina

The Argentinean wine industry has been around for a few centuries, thanks in large part to Italian immigrants, but it wasn’t until very recently, in the 1990s, that it really took off and became a global player, bolstered by the region’s production of rich Malbec. Today, nearly 1,000 winery estates, or fincas, spread out around the city of Mendoza at the foot of the Andes Mountains. One of the best ways to experience these fincas and sample their output is to leave the driving to someone else. So, with my private driver, Pablo, at the wheel, I headed out on an increasingly intoxicated road trip. Read more >

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Delightful Domes That Grace City Skylines

Salta Cathedral, Salta, ArgentinaDomes. They’re one of the world’s most versatile architectural elements. Whether they’re topping iconic buildings like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, or they’re the buildings themselves, ranging from Eskimo igloos to Central Asian yurts to the geodesic dome in Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, domes add that final splash of panache to our built environments. Found throughout the world, they seem to be appreciated by just about everyone as the perfect way to top off a building in a graceful, elegant style. Read more about the world’s top five domes >


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The Five Best Things to Do When You’re in Reykjavik, Iceland

Sculpture, Reykjavik, IcelandReykjavik is the heart of Iceland’s cultural, economic, educational, and governmental activity. Despite that, it’s Iceland’s natural wonders, including some of the world’s top waterfalls, that really attract visitors to this island nation of fewer than half a million people — and that means leaving the city. Nevertheless, devoting a few days to the northernmost capital in the world will reward you with some unforgettable sites. Read more about the top five things to see and do in Reykjavik, Iceland >


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When Nature Has Fun: The Best Natural Curiosities

Hoodoos, Alberta BadlandsMalta’s Azure Window. Aruba’s Natural Bridge. New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain. Four of Australia’s Twelve Apostles. All were beautiful, quirky sites carved by the forces of nature, and all were destroyed by the very same forces. If you are fortunate enough to have seen them before their demise, you undoubtedly have a fond memory; if not, you’re out of luck—they’re gone for good. But fear not: Plenty of other one-off oddities still exist around the world. You just have to make sure you get to them before storms and erosion make them things of the past. Read more about the world’s top five natural curiosities >


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Party of Five: The Best Plazas in Mendoza, Argentina

Plaza Independencia, Mendoza, ArgentinaRenowned as a base for some unparalleled hiking opportunities in the Andes Mountains and for the vineyards surrounding it that produce, among other wines, the full-bodied Malbec, the city of Mendoza in western Argentina shouldn’t be overlooked as a destination in and of itself — and I’m glad I devoted some time to staying in town. In many ways, such as its abundance of sidewalk trees, it’s like no other city in Argentina. One of its delightful highlights are the five plazas in the heart of Mendoza — an X-shaped arrangement of green oases in a city that’s already fairly leafy. Each one of this quintet of plazas honors a key player, whether it’s a person or a country, in the nation’s history, and each is chock full of attractions that impressed me with its beauty and thoughtfulness. Read more >


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When Orange Is More Than Your Morning Juice

Puente del Inca, ArgentinaFor those of us who live in certain climates, autumn brings a joyful change of season, when comfortably brisk days replace oppressive summer heat, and green foliage gives way to all-too-brief displays of flashy colors — especially a vibrant orange. If you don’t reside in a locale that’s blessed with this annual switch, you can get your fix of orange with an intricately carved jack-o-lantern or a Cincinnati Bengals game. And if you’re not privy to any of this, there are still plenty of oranges around the world that will capture your attention. Read more about my top five oranges >


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Comfort and Character at the Hotel del Antiguo Convento in Salta, Argentina

Hotel del Antiguo Convento, Salta, ArgentinaYou’ve spent the day roaming the engaging streets of Salta, Argentina, or perhaps exploring the fascinating landscapes outside of town. You went out to dinner late, as is the local tradition, and hopefully had a glass or two of some fantastic Argentine Malbec. What you want most now is a comfortable, clean, convenient, and charming lodging to rest your weary but contented head. And that’s exactly what you’ll find when you check in to the Hotel del Antiguo Convento. Read more >