US & Canada

Jennifer Stewart and her burro Sheba tackle the 9-mile pack burro race in Georgetown, Colorado, in 2019.

For 75 Years, Runners Have Raced in Colorado Tethered to Donkeys

Harkening back to mining days, the sport has human-donkey teams navigating challenging mountain courses

Aspen, Colorado gets around 300 days of sunshine per year.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2024

From a bluegrass capital in Virginia to a laid-back surf town in Hawaii, these spots are beckoning to tourists this year

About 75 percent of Americans are expected to travel by car this summer. Taking the scenic route along such roadways as Highway 101, seen above in Del Mar, California, can make the trip even more worthwhile.

Seven of the Most Beautiful Roads in the United States

From Alaska to Florida, these serene and exhilarating stretches beg you to take the scenic route

The Old Lahaina Courthouse was destroyed in a wildfire on August 11, 2023.

University Students in Hawaii Use Cutting-Edge Technology to Digitally Restore Historic Buildings Damaged by Maui Wildfires

A new course at University of Hawaii at Manoa rethinks historic preservation, having enrollees design digital twins of notable structures so that people can experience them virtually

The Campfire Hotel—a revamped 100-room motel lodge tucked away in Bend, Oregon's industrial stretch—first opened in October 2020.

Across the United States, Vintage Motels Are Being Imagined for Modern Times

The re-envisioned lodgings offer easy car-to-door access but also all the amenities of a boutique property, from local artwork to on-site fire pits

A bright spot for sake is in America. In 2022, according to the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, the U.S. was the No. 1 export market in terms of volume and second market in value for sake. 

An American-Made Sake Movement Is Underway

In the last decade, a truly homegrown effort has bubbled up in the United States

The International Cryonics Museum’s mission is to educate people of all walks of life about the hard science of cryonic human preservation.

The World's First Cryonics Museum Finds a Perfect Home in Estes Park, Colorado

The town’s historic hotel magnifies its mastery of the macabre with a chilling new attraction

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

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