Author: Steve Winston

I’ve written/contributed to 17 published books. And my articles have appeared in major media all over the world, among them The New York Times, "Business Week," "Travel & Leisure," "Men's Health," CNN, “Forbes,” The Jerusalem Post, The Irish Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Toronto Star, “Western Art & Architecture,” and The Associated Press. In pursuit of "The Story," I've been a war correspondent in a combat zone; been a cowboy in Arizona; jumped into an alligator pit in the Everglades; trained with a rebel militia in the jungle; climbed 15,000-foot mountains; rafted Class V rapids (suicidal!); flown World War II fighter planes in aerial "combat"; gone on an expedition into the Arctic Circle; explored ice caves at 10,000-feet in Switzerland; been invited to dinner by a President; and been tossed out of a reception given by Queen Elizabeth. My website is

St. Petersburg is a city that has made one of the most remarkable urban turnarounds in American history.

I used to travel to St. Petersburg occasionally on business in the late-90’s. Back then, it seemed a somewhat nondescript small city without a bustling business scene…but with an aging infrastructure and a quiet downtown after the sun went down.

But when I began visiting St. Pete (as the locals call it) again in recent years, I …

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In Rajasthan, it’s the colors that strike you first.

It’s the vibrant, striking colors worn by the residents of this ancient – and very proud – region, called “Land of Kings” because of a royal history like no other part of India. The land in which they live is a dry, often-monochromatic desert. But the history of Rajasthan is anything but monochromatic. It pulses with the ebbs and tides of a tumultuous history. And even …

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Most of us can’t find it on a map. But, yes, Virginia, there is a country called Uzbekistan.

And – though it may be hard for us to find on a map – it was at one time one of the great trading thoroughfares of the world, and traveled by legendary explorers such as Marco Polo.

I traveled through Uzbekistan, too. And I can tell you that it’s a place of vast horizons and stunning …

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A chill north wind blows across a landscape, stark but beautiful at the same time. But a peat fire is always nearby in some stone cottage with a thatched roof, where both the occupants and the ambiance are warm (and so, sometimes, is the beer; this is Britain, after all!). The sounds of the breeze are occasionally broken by the “baaah-ing” of a group of sheep.

The landscape rises and drops sharply in steep hills …

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As we gathered in the Fairbanks offices of the Northern Alaska Tour Company – 17 half-awake people in the dim summer light at 4:30 a.m. – there was a palpable sense of excitement.

My wife and I were carrying layers of polar clothing (at least, as “polar” as you can find in Florida!). And so were the sleepy collection of 15 other Americans, Aussies, and New Zealanders gathered around the coffee machine in an effort …

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Every once in a while, even the most jaded travelers come across a delightful surprise. And if you take the time to peruse some of the “Tourism Hot-Spot” lists for 2014, you’ll come across such a surprise – Ecuador.

This country sits astride the sky-piercing spine of the Andes, and everywhere you look reveals scenes of breathtaking natural beauty, of bursting-with-color valleys, meadows and wildflowers punctuated by snow-capped peaks. But Ecuador offers even more. It’s …

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Here, the winds speak. And the spirits speak, if you listen for them. But no one else here does…because no one else here knows, exactly.

Lying 2,300 miles away from Chile, the country that governs it, it’s the most remote populated island on Earth. The nearest populated “neighbor” is Pitcairn Island (yes, that Pitcairn Island, of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame), in the South Pacific – 1,300 miles away.

Easter Island may well be the …

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When it comes to bucket lists, travel writers are luckier than most; we get the opportunity to cross out a lot of items.

Machu Picchu has been on my bucket list since before the term “bucket list” even came into common usage. In fact, it’s been on my list since I was a young boy, and thrilled to the adventures of explorers such as archaeologist Hiram Bingham, who discovered the Lost City of the Incas …

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Who says you have to travel to the moon to see a lunar-like surface? Or to hear lunar-like silence? Or to feel as if you’re a million miles (or, in the moon’s case, 250,000 miles) from anywhere else?

There’s actually a place in Africa that looks, sounds (silence!), and feels like you’ve landed on the moon. It’s a lot easier to get there, however. It’s called the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, and it’s found in the …

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It’s called the “Route of The Hiawatha,” after the legendary luxury train that rolled from the Idaho mountains to the Midwest in the first half of the Twentieth-Century, on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad.

The last train on this stretch of railroad left the station in 1961. But “The Milwaukee Line” left us a living legacy – some 46 miles of railroad track/bed running through the 8,000-foot peaks of the Bitterroot Mountains on …

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You’ve probably never heard of Sandpoint, Idaho.

But the readers of USA Today/Rand McNally’s “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” survey have heard of it. They recently bestowed this honor on Sandpoint, a classic Old Northwest village in the Idaho Panhandle, just forty miles from the Canadian border.

It doesn’t take long to see why. As you cross the two-mile-long bridge over Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced “pond-a-ray”), surrounded by the snow-capped Selkirk Mountains, a village …

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Many’s the time I’ve been traveling on a lonesome highway in the West and been mesmerized by George Strait’s song about this town tucked away in the Texas Panhandle. Here – as in nearby Oklahoma – the wind really does come sweepin’ down the plain. And so does a long string of surprises, among them the most legendary steakhouse in America, interesting museums, restaurants ranging from Route-66-diner to classic Mexican, sacred Native American spots, natural …

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We rev up the 600 horses in the ancient engine, which at first sputters, then coughs, then spurts to life.

I’m sitting in a 68-year-old fighter plane from World War II, an AT-6, nicknamed “The Texan” by the cocky young pilots who flew her. I’m going to do some stunts, in tandem with Dennis Van Swol, the vastly-more-experienced pilot who’s sitting in the second cockpit behind me.

As we turn onto the runway at the …

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Some of early-America’s greatest painters and writers called this one of the most beautiful spots in the world. On the map, it’s only two hours north of Manhattan. But it may as well be a world away.

The Kaaterskill Clove is a Catskill Mountain ravine of stunning beauty, with dense forest and thundering waterfalls. And the biggest of those waterfalls — Kaaterskill — is higher than Niagara.

This region is a place of Technicolor surprises …

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