Jul 27, 2011
Armchair Tourist: Travel Web Sites
When you come down with a case of wanderlust, there are two known cures: Pack your bags and hit the road, or flip on your computer and seek inspiration in your favorite travel Web sites. When the realities of life only allow for the latter, I spend hours deal hunting for future trips, researching new places and reading great travel writing. No matter the locale, traveling is refreshing, inspiring and exciting! And no matter where I go, I love to seek out the best, the most authentic spots around, from restaurants to museums to parks and architecture. Here are some of my favorite go-to sites that serve up great travel content through a design-savvy lens:
This is one of my favorite travel guides. Created by Francophile Doni Belau, the Girls' Guide to Paris features the must-see places and best finds in the City of Romance. She and her team of writers share everything you could possibly want to know about Paris. It's chock full of resources, tips and reviews on everything from the art scene to restaurants, hotels and shopping. Consistently updated blogs cover topics from fabulous "insider" finds to new trends about town. Video tours allow you to truly escape. As a designer, I cannot help but love the shopping breakdown with antique, handmade, for the kids and totally chic sections. Absolutely FABULOUS guide!
Design mag Wallpaper* created a series of pocket-sized City Guides that showcase the visually-inspiring endroits in many of the world’s chicest places. These guides have checklists of everything from which ROOM to book in a hotel to the must-see architecture and design. Why am I talking about books in a Web site round up? Because aside from Wallpaper's online travel coverage (so cool!), it's City Guides are now available as apps for the iphone and ipod Touch with the most up-to-date information possible at your fingertips. Whether you are staying two days or two months, Wallpaper* City Guides are a must for any traveling designophile.
Cool Hunting editors curate their highly-cool, highly-inspirational finds in the areas of design, art, culture, architecture, technology and travel. Their travel coverage includes mini city guides, museum and gallery openings, video features as well as coverage on new gear and gadgets for the tech-saavy traveler. For on-the-spot recommendations when you're traveling within the US, Cool Hunting's Travel Local feature offers an interactive map pinpointed with the coolest places to see and things to do in that 'hood.
Design* Sponge, arguably one of the most well known design blogs, invites hip local bloggers to share where they shop, dine and hang in their hometowns. Click “Places” at the top of the site and search the cutesy city guides by country or state. What is great about their city guides is that they include some of the most exciting cities in the world as well as some off-the-beaten path options. Under "New York" you'll find the obvious Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as smaller towns and areas like Ithaca and the Catskills. Just like it's readers, the guides are design saavy, thrifty and crafty...you're just as likely to read about the best places to paint pottery or find fabrics as you are to find out where the museums are located.
World-renowned architect Robert Kahn created City Secrets as a key to unlocking the best kept places in some of the world’s greatest cities. His fire engine-red blog is seductive in and of itself, hinting at the content which features his tips on things to do and absolutely beautiful places to see. When you're ready to unplug and get traveling, his City Secrets books are the perfect extension.
Other notable sites include Daily Candy and Fathom (still in Beta) What are your favorite sites to find travel inspiration?