WASHINGTON (Dec. 19, 2013)—For travelers craving authentic experiences, not just any travel guide will do. In February, National Geographic offers adventurers a new book: WHERE THE LOCALS GO: More than 300 Places Around the World to Eat, Play, Shop, Celebrate, and Relax (National Geographic Books; Feb. 4, 2014; paperback; $24.95), which goes beyond overcrowded tourist destinations to share local cultures and customs from around the world for travelers seeking a rewarding and memorable experience.
Arranged by continent and compiled by the National Geographic Traveler magazine team, WHERE THE LOCALS GO suggests restaurants, markets, festivals and events beloved by residents of the featured towns and cities. Those looking for the best local specialty — the finest cowboy boots in San Antonio or the most authentic dim sum in Hong Kong — will find the go-to spots from those in the know.
“This book is a sparkling, surprising collection of off-the-beaten-track finds, ah-hahs, neighborhood secrets, and the pleasures of those who live in a place 24/7. So before you ask the concierge where to go or what to do, dive in and enjoy WHERE THE LOCALS GO,” writes Keith Bellows, editor in chief, National Geographic Travel Media, in his introduction.
Options abound for travelers looking for unusual and authentic experiences:
- On the last Friday of every month, cycle through San Francisco with Critical Mass, a good-natured, two-wheeled takeover of the streets with no official leader but with gorgeous views.
- In the heart of Arizona’s Navajo Nation, stay over with a local family in their hogan — a traditional one-room home made of juniper logs and used for sacred ceremonies.
- Discover the Mewang, a fire-blessing ceremony, at the Thangbi Mani festival celebrating the new year in Bhutan’s Chokhor Valley each autumn.
- Watch a reindeer parade during the winter market in Jokkmokk, Sweden, while browsing 500 stalls manned by the Sámi, Lapland’s indigenous reindeer herders.
- Mingle with the local crowds at sunset on Juhu Beach in Mumbai.
- Experience the world’s ultimate dance-off, the Goroka sing-sing in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands, where more than 100 tribes perform traditional dances in an explosion of color and sound.
A bonus chapter features in-depth travel suggestions in 15 great cities, including New York; Washington, D.C.; Jerusalem; Cape Town; Tokyo; Sydney; and Paris.
Great restaurants, charming bookstores, local haunts, open-air markets and unusual sights crowd each page of WHERE THE LOCALS GO. Prominent residents and editors of international editions of Traveler magazine also share their personal favorites in “I Heart My City” sidebars. Georgetown University professor Jim Millward suggests checking out the bluegrass scene in the up-and-coming Atlas District in Northeast Washington, D.C.; Alan Kingshott, chief yeoman warder at the Tower of London, recommends theater in the West End; and Istanbul art historian, architect and author Gul Irepoglu counts taking a boat across the Bosphorus — traveling from Europe to Asia in minutes — as one of his favorite activities.
About Keith Bellows
Keith Bellows is the senior vice president and editor in chief, National Geographic Travel Media. Under his stewardship, the magazine has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards, won more than 60 Lowell Thomas Awards for best travel writing (it has been named best magazine eight of his 12 years), and seven Folio Awards for Best Travel Magazine. Traveler has won an iTunes People’s Choice Award for Best Podcast of 2006, for which Bellows wrote two scripts. Its “Intelligent Travel” won a 2007 Travvie and a 2009 Lonely Planet Award as best travel blog. He has written for Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Parenting, AARP, and many other magazines. He also wrote “The Canuck Book” and the 1998 Winter Olympics ACCESS Guide for ABC-TV.
He is a graduate of Gordonstoun School (Scotland) and Dartmouth College. He lectures extensively around the world (and is part of the National Geographic Speakers Bureau), and his more than 200 television appearances include the “TODAY” show, “Good Morning America” and a regular segment on “National Geographic Today.”
About National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment
National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment creates and distributes books, videos and other print and digital media that inform, engage and entertain diverse audiences about our world. Annually, the group publishes more than 125 new books for adults, families and kids and releases 250+ new DVDs and digital downloads of the Society’s films and TV shows, and these National Geographic titles are available in more than 35 local-language editions. While special photographic and film collections, travel books, nature shows, birding guides and atlases are a core focus of the Society’s products, books and videos on subjects as diverse as animals, the human mind, history, world cultures and the cosmos are also produced. For more information, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.