Travel & Adventure

Stopping to Smell the Wildflowers

Getting to Know Australia on the Larapinta Trail

Outdoor enthusiasts sometimes turn their backs on organized, outfitted tours. But as a first-time visitor to Australia, GP contributor Will McGough was glad to hike the Larapinta Trail with a handful of locals.

The Pros and Cons of Abandoning Europe's Hiking Hut System

Hiking the Alps, Sans Huts

Dan had mentioned his novel idea before our summer trip to Switzerland: we’d go backpacking, in the Alps -- no huts. Bring your sleeping bags and bivy sacks, he said. Brilliant, I thought.

Butter and Brine

Scallops in the Raw

The two fishermen who delivered the scallop shells walked right through the back kitchen door of the restaurant like they were barging into their own home, big and fishy-looking.

A Hike with a Ghost in the Scottish Highlands

Remembering Travelers Lost

Among all the wonderful people I met on our Scotland trip, the most memorable wasn’t someone new, and it wasn’t a re-acquaintance. It was someone I’d already lost.

Sheep Think They're Better Than Me, and They're Right

The Dangerous Futility of Sheep-Chasing

The average Scottish sheep weighs between 100 to 300 pounds, lives ten to twelve years, breeds seasonally and, somewhere inside its stupid, thick skull, thinks it’s an absolutely magnificent creature. This is because, in Scotland, it has no natural predators. Except for us sheep chasers.

Deeper Into the Heart of Scotland

Photo Essay: North Through the Highlands

We drove north toward our next destination, the Isle of Skye. Everything had thinned out but the country, which was opening up wider and wider, the mountains taller and the glens deeper, the colors around us shifting from warm greens to striking shades of brown, yellow and grey.

Drinking Heavily in the Homeland of Scotch

Lessons in Whisky, the Muse of Scotland

Robert Burns once wrote: "Oh thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch drink; / Inspire me till I lisp and wink / To sing thy name!" Judging from our drinking experiences in Scotland, he was probably lit as hell when he penned it.

2,000 Acres, A Restored Farmhouse and a Genius Madman Owner

Getting the Best of the Highlands at Monachyle Mhor

We were sitting in the dining room eating a breakfast of black pudding when Tom Lewis, owner, manager and head chef of Monachyle Mhor, burst in waving an enormous mushroom. Lewis is Welsh and moved to Scotland as a teen; I couldn't understand a damn word he said.

A Good Rummage Is Hard to Find

Postcard: Glasgow’s Barras Market

The Glasgow Barrowland Market, aka Barras Market, was meant to be a destination, a must-see stop our tour of Glasgow, the gem of the East End. We found something slightly different.

A Scotland Travel Guide

The Right to Roam: Day 2

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. Day Two features two searches in Glasgow: one for great craft beer, and one for a mythical nightlife scene.

A Scotland Travel Guide

The Right to Roam

Welcome to our sprawling travel journal of Scotland's environmental, cultural and culinary riches. Over the next two weeks we'll be sharing our collection of 50 essays, videos, anecdotes, photo essays, travel guides, recipes, poetry and tall tales gathered during one hell of a trip. The journey begins now.

An Adventurer's Breakfast

Postcard: Full Scottish Breakfast

I go to bed each night thinking: I’ve eaten plenty, and tomorrow I’ll have a light, healthy breakfast. Yet here I am, eating my third or fourth full Scottish in as many days.

A Scottish Adventure

Seeking the Right To Roam

The Freedom to Roam, unburdened of fences and posted signs, angry landowners and angrier guard dogs, is a shared dream among adventurers. Scotland codified it in 2003. Within guidelines for respectful use, recreational or educational, that means any Joe Scot can bring a backpack, a tent, a friend and a six pack and saunter cross-country, going where they please among the nation's 30,000 square miles -- many of them unpopulated, all of them free of any major predators besides the biting midges that emerge during the summer months. This sounded romanticized. So we set out to test it.

GETTING TO KNOW THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

Stay: Hotel Hugo SoHo

Peering over the Hudson River from between two iconically New York red brick buildings, the brand new Hotel Hugo SoHo features a mix of modern urban escape and industrial warmth. This new kid on the block is an excellent place to call home for a brief stay in New York City.

Private barrel selection at Woodford Reserve and the drive back to Louisville

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Five

In day five of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we soak in the last rays of Kentucky sun, watch a group pick their own single barrel of Woodford Reserve, and more.

A Video Tour of the Process from 12 Bourbon Distilleries

How Bourbon is Made

We toured 12 distilleries in a five-day blitz, asking everyone we met to walk us through the bourbon-making process. Here, you'll find all of the steps that go into making America's unique take on whiskey.

Town Branch, Buffalo Trace, Old Rip Van Winkle and more

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Four

In Day Four of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we visit Town Branch, learn from a true bourbon master, and Ben nerds out. (A lot.)

Staying Sober in Bourbon Country

Off the Trail: Kentucky’s Sober Attractions

We posed the same question to everyone we spoke to on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail: "If someone is only going to visit Kentucky once, what should they do?" Here are their responses.

Maker's Mark, Willet, and More

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day Two

In day two of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we get lost in the backwoods, explore the Willet Distillery, taste a few bourbon cocktails made by a pro, and more.

A Night in Kentucky's Oldest Family-Operated B&B

Stay: The Beaumont Inn

Close your eyes. Form a picture in your head of what a historic B&B in the heart of Bluegrass country should look like. What remains though in the mind’s eye should look quite close to Harrodsburg’s Beaumont Inn owned by the Dedman family.

How a next-generation master distiller helped relight the stills

Willett’s Long Path Back to Bourbon

Willett Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen doesn't have time for bullshit. It's not something he has to tell anyone. The message shoots from his eyes like a railgun. Even at a relatively young age, it's clear he's heard it all before. He talks like someone who’s lost years listening to others dribble on, and worked hard to eradicate the behavior in himself; his speech is terse, verging on curt. You can't blame him for him ignoring the noise. A lot rides on his shoulders. He and his family worked for years to rebuild the family distillery, which reopened in 2012, and now he's determined to prove a point.

Inside Louisville's Copper & Kings Distillery

Making Brandy in Bourbon Country

A stack of freshly painted neon orange and black shipping containers stand in stark contrast to the red brick warehouse aesthetic of East Washington Street in the Butchertown area of Louisville, like a shiny new Google campus in the middle of a housing project. The large steel rectangles are the first of many signs that the Copper & Kings distillery is anything but traditional.

Greetings from the Bluegrass State

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Travelogue: Day One

We figured the best way to get to the bottom of the recent bourbon boom was to head to the Bluegrass State with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days of Kentucky scenery, friendly locals and distillery tours. Here's a play-by-play of day one of our investigation on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Never Order the Scotch

Late Night in Louisville

An aimless night in Louisville turns into a booze-fueled expedition, filled with new friends, a bar with 1,600 beers, and a cat that's not to be fucked with.

A Roaming Journal of America's Spirit

5 Days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Bourbon is booming, but only decades ago, it was on a path toward failure. This was most evident in the 1980s, at the height of vodka and big hair, when distilleries in the Bluegrass State were shuttering their doors. They simply couldn’t give bottles away, the same bottles that just a generation before were lining executive conference rooms and hotel bars throughout America. It was by definition an all-American drink, and it was quickly fading. But then in the mid-2000s, distillers realized the atmosphere was changing. Bourbon started coming back. Fast. This explosion, which continues to grow to this day, raises plenty of questions. What's fueling the bourbon boom? Is it going to burst, like tech and housing? Are some bottles really worth $5,000, and more importantly, who’s buying them? What makes a bourbon good? The best way to get to the bottom of this was to head to the Bluegrass State, where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made, equipped with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail -- a triangle of distillery tours throughout the state with endpoints at Louisville, Lexington and Bardstown — for many early mornings and late nights drinking and talking with some of the foremost professionals in booze. We came back with five days of fear and loathing on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Rocks Sunrise-Side of the Mississippi

Freddie Wilkinson’s Best Climbs of the East

Freddie Wilkinson makes his home in the White Mountains, where he climbs and guides most of the year between putting up alpine first ascents on expeditions to Alaska, Nepal, Patagonia, India and Antarctica. These are his four favorite climbing areas out East, plus some inside tips on what to do when you're in the neighborhood.

Peeping leaves and climbing rock

Photo Essay: Fall Rock Climbing in the Gunks

For nearly 80 years, the Gunks have been one of the East’s most hallowed (not to mention busiest) traditional climbing areas, featuring more than 1,400 routes on four major cliffs clustered outside of the college town of New Paltz. But Sky Top -- privately owned by the Mohonk Mountain House, a 145-year-old luxurious Victorian castle resort that restricts crag access to high-rolling guests and Alpine Endeavors clients -- is utterly serene, and our group is alone on the lichen-covered rock.