North America

Hiking the John Muir Trail - Yosemite Lake in distance

Yosemite Lake in distance

Hiking The John Muir Trail


(The following is a guest post from Brock Delinski of Our Favorite Adventure, who is also a gear consultant and coaches people preparing for adventures and long distance hikes. You can sign up for his free newsletter here If you’re a blogger interested in guest posting, please email Editor-In-Chief Bret Love at



Hiking the John Muir Trail is many things to many people, but just about everyone who has done it will agree that it is among the finest hikes in the USA. For nature lovers, the JMT has it all, from soaring mountain passes to quaint valleys that give you that last-person-on-Earth sort of feeling.  Hiking the JMT is one of those experiences that ultimately lingers with you long after you’ve hung up your hiking boots.


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Ansel Adams Wilderness, California. Afternoon Thunderstorm, Garnet Lake.

 The Ansel Adams Wilderness

Photographed by National Geographic’s Peter Essick


(The following is a guest post  by National Geographic Photographer Peter Essick, who was recently named named one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography Magazine.  Essick has traveled extensively over the last two decades, making photographs that move beyond mere documentation to reveal in careful compositions the human impact of development as well as the enduring power of the land. Essick has photographed stories on many environmental issues, including climate change, high-tech trash, nuclear waste and freshwater. In his most recent book, The Ansel Adams Wilderness, Essick pays tribute to Ansel Adams and the craggy Sierra Nevada wilderness area.)


With poetic words and foresight, the U.S. Congress passed the Wilderness Act of 1964 establishing a system to preserve some of America’s most wild places. The act said, “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” The act was a victory for conservationists and was the first time in U.S. history that legislation was enacted not to promote resource development but to protect some land in its natural state.


Ansel Adams was one person who had fought for wilderness, using his camera as a tool to show his love of the High Sierra mountain range. Upon his death in 1984, Congress paid Adams the ultimate tribute by renaming the Minaret Wilderness for him. It was in this region that Adams first developed his love of nature and began to master the craft of black and white landscape photography. Adams did his photography while working for the Sierra Club helping with the logistics of their month-long summer outings.


Recently, I went back to this wilderness area with my camera to photograph this beautiful landscape. I wanted to pay homage to Adams and the work he did many years ago, but I also wanted to find my own interpretation. My hope is that these photographs will celebrate the wild lands and wild American spirit of those who fought to save them. It has not even been a century since Adams carried his view camera on burro to photograph the High Sierra wilderness. In the world of nature, that was only yesterday.  –text & photos by Peter Essick


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Swimming with whale sharks in Cancun, Mexico

Face to Face with the World’s Largest Fish Species

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Cancun


We’re not even in the water yet, but already my heart is pounding in my chest.


I’m on a boat about 2 hours from Cancun, on the perimeter of a circle of dozens of other boats filled with eager tourists. Like my 12-year-old daughter and I, they’re all here for a singular purpose: The once-in-a-lifetime experience of Swimming with Whale Sharks, the largest known fish species in the world.


Though the glare of the morning sun on the water is nearly blinding, the 35-foot, 20,000-pound whale sharks aren’t difficult to spot. In fact, their hulking forms are everywhere we look, swimming in slow, lazy circles to filter-feed on krill and plankton at the surface, seemingly oblivious to our presence. Thankfully, our captain stays far away from the other boats, so that when one of these gentle giants swims near we will have them all to ourselves.


As he brings the boat to a halt, a massive whale shark swims straight for us. He looks as wide as a VW Beetle, and as long as a school bus, gliding effortlessly with his mouth wide open. At the last second his spotted form swerves past us, changing directions surprisingly quickly with a mere flip of his tail. I’m 6’2″ and built like a linebacker, but suddenly even I feel very small by comparison.

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The Top 5 Nature Attractions in Kauai, Hawaii

Photo provided courtesy of Kauai Visitors Bureau / Dana Edmunds

The Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions


(The following is a guest post by Jessica Kay of A Passion and A Passport, a blog focused on balancing travel with a full-time 9 to 5  job. You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a blogger looking to guest post on GGT, please email Bret Love at


I traveled to Kauai, Hawaii last summer with my husband, and quickly fell in love with the island’s diverse wildlife and natural attractions.  Just minutes after our arrival, it was clear that Kauai is full of natural beauty and has a ton of ecotourism offerings waiting to be discovered.  From dramatic coastlines and majestic mountains to native Hawaiian wildlife on both land and water, each of these activities left me nearly breathless. Here are my picks for the Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions:


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Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday, New Orleans

 Mardi Gras Indians on Super Sunday:

New Orleans’ Next Generation


Like most people outside of New Orleans, we knew nothing about the cultural heritage of NOLA’s Mardi Gras Indians until we watched the HBO show Treme.


Created  by David Simon and Eric Overmyer (The Wire), the show follows residents from the historic Tremé (pronounced Tre-may) neighborhood– a hodgepodge of musicians, chefs, community activists and Mardi Gras Indians– struggling to put their lives, homes and culture back together in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica Without Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba