In the Magazines: December 2011

by Berit Baugher

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.

Conde Nast Traveler December 2011 CONDE NAST TRAVELER
On the cover
: Dana Dickey's glamping picks range from a Kenyan camp, where you'll live among 45 elephant families, to a Bedouin tent in the UAE. You're sure to find Something Wild.

- Craveable Caribbean: The gastronomic slumber has ceased. With restaurants opened by Eric Ripert, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Alain Ducasse, the islands are becoming a foodie paradise.

- 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.

Travel + LeisureTRAVEL + LEISURE
On the cover
: Lose yourself along the canals as Peter Weller shares his annual Christmas trip to Venice, when the summer crowds are gone and the city belongs to the locals.

- 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

On the cover: Melinda Page discovers the lesser known, more affordable side of the Seychelles, where beachside apartments go for $125 a night.

- 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.

- Top Budget Travel Destinations for 2012: Explore baroque churches, black-sand beaches, and crater lakes in the Azores, one of Nicole Frehsee's picks for 2012.

- 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.

We covered the November/December issue in our November roundup, but here it is again.

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.

We covered the November/December issue in our November roundup, but here it is again.

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.