The Mythological Origins of 9 Natural Wonders

Meet the gods, giants, and ambulatory volcanoes behind your favorite works of nature.

Plate tectonics, erosion, termites. These scientific explanations for how mountains, volcanoes, and their ilk are created are all well and good, but where’s the drama? What about the less accurate but more exciting explanations for some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders? If you like your origin stories with a little more narrative flair, discover the myths and legends that explain how these natural wonders came to be.

10 Ridiculously Over-the-Top Maximalist Wonderlands

♫ Gimme, gimme more, gimme more ♫

Sleek, sterile rooms and perfectly Marie Kondo’d apartments are all well and good, but there’s something to be said for a place where every available square inch is jockeying for your attention. These places are designed so that no matter where you look, your senses will be utterly delighted (and occasionally a little bewildered).  

Pirates, Monks, and Deer: The Fascinating Stories Behind Asias Former Capital Cities

Relive some pretty interesting glory days.

Once they were imposing hubs of their nations, home to emperors, kings, and sultans. Now they exist in the shadow of current national capitals and tourist magnets like Tokyo, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, and New Delhi. Asia is littered with former capitals, many of which are unappreciated tourist destinations despite possessing rich remains of their glory days. From the Japanese city dominated by deer, to an abandoned Thai citadel, India’s British-influenced hill station, and the Malay kingdom that sprouted from a fishing village, here are 10 of Asia’s most intriguing former capitals.

You Can See These (Replicas of) International Tourist Attractions Right Here in the U.S.A.

Get a taste of these famous sights before heading abroad.

Every traveler fantasizes about their day standing atop the Eiffel Tower, looking down and around at the stunning Parisian architecture. They imagine the moment they’ll get to explore the ancient wonders of the Parthenon as they see history before their own eyes. For now, however, this remains a daydream for many. While you might not be able to pose in Pisa with the famous Leaning Tower, you can still embark on your bucket-list sightseeing tour all while staying local. Throughout the U.S., you’ll find recreations of famous landmarks that, though a bit out of place (as well as smaller and made in the 1900s), will be the perfect travel placeholder you need. So, fill your gas tank and get ready to embark on your national landmark journey all without ever renewing your passport.