Find a Historic Site or a Cultural Activity

Best kept secret by history teachers: History is *really* interesting. It’s just that it’s a whole lot more exciting to learn about the ancient Nabateans when you’re riding on a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Petra than to yawn through a history book. From Petra to Kilwa, from the pyramids of the Mundo Mayo to the pyramids of Egypt, from the temples of Thailand to the lost city of Machu Picchu, from the ruins of Athens, Rome, and Stonehenge: Our writers bring you the stories and pictures that bring the past to life. And they take you to living history, as well: to the vibrant arts and cultural attractions that make each destination unique.

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Historic & Cultural Sites: The Bucket List

central park

Sightseeing in New York City by Bicycle

Out-of-towners often are aghast when I say I ride a bicycle for transportation and fun in Manhattan. They hear “bicycles” and think “EEEEK! Traffic! Potholes! Trucks!” I used to laugh and reply, “it’s a death-defying experience.” Now, I see it as a life-affirming one. As a native, I have been biking ...
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Flowers in February at Kew Gardens (photo credit: Jill Browne)

Smelling the Flowers at Kew Gardens, London, England

I’m looking at hundreds, possibly thousands, of orchid blossoms in one of the world’s absolute best plant places: Kew Gardens, London. The waxy lustre of the extravagant petals gives the deceptive impression that these plants are indestructible. Hardly so. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is one of the world leaders in plant ...
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Going Western at the Calgary Stampede

In my very first memory of the Calgary Stampede, when I never dreamed I would someday be a Calgarian myself, I’m walking through horse poop three inches deep in my white shoes, clarinet in hand. Our high school band is lining up behind the scenes waiting to march in the big ...
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A camel wrangler in Petra

Exploring the Ruined City of Petra in Jordan

My conversation with Nasser started the way these conversations so often do. “30 dinar! It’s a good price!” “No, it’s too much.” “How much you want to pay?” “I don’t want to pay, I want to walk.” “25 dinar, then. I give you good price.” And so on. We settled at 20 dinar – which just happens ...
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Tomb of Cecilia Metella on the Appia Antica

Exploring the Via Appia Antica: Ancient Ruins and Rome’s Bucolic Oasis

Italian donkeys and American donkeys speak the same language. I learned this in a field in the middle of Rome, within a few minutes cab ride of the Colosseum. Actually, it was a farm, a sort of bucolic oasis within sight of the city skyline. And, this being Rome, the farm contained ...
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sunset over Nile

Visiting Egypt’s Ruins from a Nile River Cruise

Look at a physical map of north Africa -- a map with brown mountains and green forests and beige deserts -- and you will see thousands of miles of sandy beige, and, then, a thin green line. The Nile. Life giver. In ancient times, the rising and falling of the ...
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