US & Canada

By the end of the 2000s, via ferratas had begun pushing westward, with a handful of routes. Here, a child crosses a ravine on a slackline near Lake Tahoe, California.

Via Ferratas Are Finally Catching On in the United States

With origins in Europe, the assisted climbing routes are springing up at luxury resorts and on private land this side of the Atlantic

The city’s classic sign, 25 feet tall, was designed by commercial artist Betty Willis in 1959.

How the Dazzling Las Vegas Strip Rose Up From the Desert

The story behind the glitzy stretch of highway that became the destination for America’s most sublime—and most sordid—aspirations

A little rain doesn’t stop the show, and neither does a worldwide pandemic. Just months after Covid-19 gripped the globe, high school football players—and referees—were back on the field.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Are You Ready for Some Football? Prep for the Super Bowl With 15 Thrilling Photos of Americans Tossing the Pigskin

Celebrate the cherished American sport before the big game

Tang yuan fill the bowls of Asian households worldwide during Lunar New Year celebrations, the white, spherical desserts serving as edible representations of the moon shining overhead.
 

A Lunar New Year Staple, Tang Yuan Are a 'Dose of Luck and Sweetness'

The chewy rice balls ooze with indulgent filling and layers of symbolism

Ice worms spend most of the day burrowing their way through the cold, dark interior of the glacier, coming to the surface only in the afternoon to feed on algae and bacteria.

Alaska

This Eight-Day Festival Celebrates One of Alaska's Weirdest Worms

Welcome to the Cordova Ice Worm Festival, a quirky local tradition honoring the mysterious creatures that live in glacial ice

This small, bucolic waterfall in Western New York has one highly photogenic feature: a grotto lit by a dancing orange flame.

Seven Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For

You need to be in the right place at the right time to see these celestial and earthly wonders

The mineral-rich soak at Chena Hot Springs, about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, has been attracting tourists since the early 1900s.

Alaska

You Can Soak in These Eight Hot Springs in Alaska

From resorts to remote spots, natural thermal waters throughout the state beckon tourists

This May brings the Kunstsilo Nordic Art Museum to the southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand.

The Most Anticipated Museum Openings of 2024

Scheduled to launch this year are new institutions dedicated to astronomy, Nintendo and women artists

For years, independent artist and educator Erika Nelson has crisscrossed the country, visiting roadside behemoths, gathering the stories behind them and creating miniature handmade versions.

One Artist's Colossal Quest to Share Her Love of Roadside Americana

At her quirky outpost in Lucas, Kansas, Erika Nelson displays the world’s largest collection of the world’s smallest versions of the world’s largest things

Left, Bartram’s illustration of Annona grandiflora, a member of the pawpaw family, which appeared in the naturalist’s 1791 Travels, right.

More Than 200 Years After He Toured Florida, America's First Great Environmentalist Is Inspiring Locals to Reconnect With Nature

A new generation is discovering the rambling Southern route of William Bartram and his legendary 1791 travelogue

Backpackers hike near Crescent Lake in Alaska's Chugach National Forest.

Alaska

Alps-Style Hut-to-Hut Travel Is On Its Way to Alaska

Several ambitious projects are poised to bring a long trail and 25 new huts to the Last Frontier

Located in the White Andean Mountain Range near Huaraz, Alpamayo is among the most beautiful peaks in the world.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Grab Your Hot Cocoa and Enjoy These 15 Gorgeous Images of Snowy Landscapes

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest feature winter wonderlands

Almost like an arrow, the somewhat triangular shape of the architectural framework points this pedestrian in the right direction.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Appreciate Awesome Architecture With These 15 Photos

No passport is needed for this virtual tour of beautiful buildings around the world

This year's top titles include The Last Ride of the Pony Express, Elixir, Airplane Mode, and more.

The Best Books of 2023

The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2023

Take a trip without leaving home with these adventurous reads from this year

Dividing the estimated length of 240,000 miles of stone wall by the geographic area of the New England heartland yields about six linear miles of stone per square mile of land.

How Stone Walls Became a Signature Landform of New England

Originally built as barriers between fields and farms, the region’s abandoned farmstead walls have since become the binding threads of its cultural fabric

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents has been drawing commercial perfumers with a nose for aromas, gardeners, cooks and others since 2017.

This California Museum Is Home to Hundreds of Nature's Scents

Perfumer Mandy Aftel's spellbinding collection of rare essences and artifacts is on display at the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley

The green gas emanating from this small jack-o’-lantern alludes to the spread of Covid-19. Fittingly, the photographer’s subject dons a beaked mask based on the ones worn by physicians treating bubonic plague victims in 17th-century Europe.

Smithsonian Photo Contest Galleries

Treat Yourself to 15 Eerie Images Celebrating Halloween

These highlights from the Smithsonian Photo Contest are sure to scare up some smiles

The annual Woolly Worm Festival is a fiercely popular local event that’s been going on for nearly half a century.

Groundhogs Are Old News. In This Tiny Town, Caterpillars Predict the Weather

Thousands of people flocked to Banner Elk, North Carolina, this year to watch the nation’s biggest woolly worm caterpillar race

John Akomfrah at his London studio, 2016

Artist John Akomfrah Is Having a Moment

The works of the recently knighted filmmaker address contemporary issues in two different Smithsonian museums

Sphere lights up during its grand opening on September 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The Sphere Is Here. Are We Ready for More High-Tech Architecture?

The new Las Vegas performance venue challenges musicians and visual artists to produce content for its demanding format

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