Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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R&R at the Best B&Bs

Barn Anew, Scottsbluff, NebraskaI tend to spend a good amount of time poring over websites when choosing accommodations for a trip. It’s a tricky (but tremendously fun) endeavor, with many factors coming into play: type, location, amenities, cost, convenience, reliable cheers and jeers, and, of course, gut instinct. One group that, as a whole, is guaranteed to offer a level of coziness, slow-paced relaxation, and personal touches you probably won’t find elsewhere is bed and breakfasts. You’ll meet more people, have finer morning meals, and remember the names of the owners long after you’ve returned home. Read about the top five bed and breakfasts >


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Get Your Mojo Back at Mojo BBQ

Mojo BBQ, St. Augustine, FloridaAfter an exceptional Mexican dinner at the bustling Casa Reina, I found myself at the more subdued Mojo BBQ the following evening. Also located in the historic district of St. Augustine, Mojo BBQ can definitely satisfy any discerning carnivore, as evidenced by its expansion to eight locations across Florida. And, unless you’re here on a night with live music, it comes with some fairly quiet neighbors. Read about it >


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Allelujah and Amen, Atlanta!

Central Presbyterian Church, AtlantaMore than one thousand churches are scattered around Atlanta, Georgia. The destruction of the Civil War did away with the oldest ones, so all of those that I was admiring were erected after 1865. It’s not uncommon to see clusters of them in, say, a two-block radius—churches built for different denominations and faiths—which makes it exceptionally convenient to cast a not-so-wide net and still visit an abundance of these beautiful buildings. Read about the top five churches in Atlanta >


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Standout Buildings of Sioux Falls, South Dakota

First Congregational Church, Sioux Falls, South DakotaChartered in 1856, Sioux Falls didn’t take very long to swell into the largest city in South Dakota. With a population growth over 10% every decade since 1910, the city started erecting fantastic buildings almost from its earliest days. Many of them, from municipal masterpieces to residential gems, still survive as some of the city’s defining structures. Read about the top five buildings in Sioux Falls, South Dakota >


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Back to School

Lawyers' Club, University of Michigan, Ann ArborClasses are about to start again (cheers from parents, groans from their children). For travelers, it’s the perfect time to visit college campuses as they return to life. These academic oases can draw you in with special events, performances, and exhibitions that are open to the public, whether it’s at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta or at the Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. But even if nothing is going on, I’ve found that their inviting grounds and attractive buildings remain appealing all year long. Read about the top five college campuses >


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First-Rate Riverside Dining in Savannah

River House Seafood, Savannah, GeorgiaThe oppressive early-summer sultriness of Savannah, Georgia, had been draining me—literally—all day. Fortunately, just as I began to hunt for a dinner spot, and just upon the verge of melting into a mound of putty-like flesh and liquified bones, I found myself along cobblestoned River Street, a strip of shops and restaurants facing the Savannah River. The excellent River House Seafood was my salvation. Read about it >


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A Historic B&B in America’s Oldest City

Just a block or two from the heart of the historic district in St. Augustine, Florida, four bed and breakfasts stand next to each other on the same quiet street. By chance, I selected Penny Farthing Inn, a Victorian inn built as a private home back in 1893. It’s a cheery, peaceful B&B with an accommodating host, some delicious breakfasts, and a wonderfully noise-free night to enhance your slumber. Read about it >


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Seeing Red

Japanese maple treeRed is an extreme color. For many, it’s all about love and passion. What would Valentine’s Day be without red roses or red heart-shaped boxes of candy, presented by the revered red-blooded American, perhaps, in some cases, to his red-hot mama? Those emotions, however, can lead to danger, another of the color’s associations—The Scarlet Letter, for instance, or stop signs and stoplights and code reds. You’ll see red if you’re angry and overheated, and if you’re a politician on the rise, you’ll need to don the requisite red power tie. But not everything red is so intense. Plenty of red things around the world have nothing to do with its common links, and they’ll make an equally strong impression on you. Read about the top five reds >


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In a Glass by Themselves

City Hall, Buffalo, New YorkWe rarely give much thought to the ordinary glass objects around our homes—our windows and mirrors, baking dishes and light bulbs, orange juice pitchers and cereal bowls. But once you start to consider its myriad uses, from the mundane to the extraordinary, you’ll develop a new appreciation for this versatile material that begins with melted sand and ends up as fantastic artwork. Read about the world’s best glassworks >


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Florida’s Latin Flavors at Casa Reina

Casa Reina, St. Augustine, FloridaIn the blistering summer heat of St. Augustine, Florida, when your skin feels as if it’s about to spontaneously burst into flame, I was lured toward the restorative breeze coming off the Matanzas River at the edge of the city’s historic district. It’s a wonderful place to cool off and the perfect location to have dinner. Casa Reina takes advantage of the views of the water and the handsome Bridge of Lions and combines it with an outstanding Latin menu. Read about it >