Tis the season for good food, great gifts, and expiring vacation days. From Christmas in Venice to Hanukkah in Jerusalem — our favorite magazines have suggestions for every type of traveler.
- Where Japan Began: In addition to housing the oldest wooden buildings in the world, Pico Iyer ruminates on what makes Nara, Japan's quaint former capital, stand out among the country's better-known metropolises.
- The People Who Perfect Paradise: Wendy Perrin's list of trusted travel specialists can do the big stuff (like booking a once-in-a-lifetime trip) and small details (like figuring out which side of the plane to Bora Bora has the best views).
- Lone Star Secret: Shabby Chic founder Rachel Ashwell dishes on the best spots to find vintage trunks and lacy dresses in Round Top, the future Hamptons of Texas and home to her newly opened B&B, The Prairie.
- Where to Spend the Holidays: T& L tapped local experts for the best ways to celebrate: stroll the streets of Jerusalem for Hanukkah; sun in São Paulo on Christmas; ring in the new year in Plymouth, WI, where they drop an 80-pound wedge of cheese at midnight.
- Peak Glamour: A Modernist take on mountainside log cabins, feather chandeliers, and a reservation desk made from vintage suitcases — Meghan McEwan finds contemporary European ski chalets with more than traditional winter charm.
- Dishes of Marrakesh: Anya Von Bremzen smells and tastes her way through the culinary capital of Morroco, where the scent of cumin and saffron waft through the air and the meal of your life can be had at a roadside gas station
- Caribbean's Most Wanted: From a sustainable farm institute to Aruba's weekly street party; David Swanson investigates American's favorite islands in search of the new and undiscovered.
- Road Trip: La Ruta Panoramica: Take a spin on Puerto Rico's answer to Route 66. Josh Eells uncovers the island's quieter side, where the road is laced with waterfalls and horses out number people.
On the cover: Travel Differently: 12 Surprising Journeys, which isn't one feature but rather several stories, including:
- Ryan Knighton in Cairo: A blind man explores post-revolutionary Cairo through sound, touch, smell, and taste.
- Where New Zealand's Wild Things Are: Ethan Todras-Whitehall volunteers at a recovery program for the nearly extinct (and sex-crazed) kakapo parrot.
- Native Hawaiian Constance Hale reveals The Secrets to a Real Luau.
- Caribbean Dreams: A special feature on where to eat, stay, and go this season.
- Maine's Homegrown Revival: Michael S. Sanders, self-proclaimed metrosexual wannabe farmer, enrolls in a seaside cooking school to fulfill his locavore fantasies.
- Textile designer Suki Cheema chats with Julia Cosgrove about his favorite markets in India, Russian subway stations, and why getting lost leads to the best travel experiences.
On the cover: Best of the World ranks the must-see places for 2012, including Istria, Oman, Iceland, Sri Lanka, and Pittsburgh.
- The Ratings Game: Christopher Elliott explains how to make sense of hotel rating systems. Answer: Don't try to.
- The Perfect Airport: Margaret Loftus compiles a guide to best airport features. Most interesting thing learned: Seoul Incheon (ICN) has a rooftop golf course, casino, and ice skating rink.
- Through the Forest Dark: An except from Scott Wallace's new book, The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes.