All posts by Katie Hammel

Katie Hammel has written about travel, food, and wine for publications including BBC Travel,, AOL Travel, the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Daily News, and others. In addition to her freelance work, she is the Senior Travel Editor at Viator, a company that sells tours and activities around the world, where she manages a team of 30 contributing writers. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and spends weekends exploring the city and the rest of northern California.
Temple Bar in Dublin
Katie Hammel

Dublin, the capital and largest city in Ireland, is the starting point for most visitors to the Emerald Isle. The home of Guinness, the birthplace and muse of dozens of history’s greatest writers, and one of Europe’s great cities, it’s well worth staying a few days before or after... Read More

Guinness Factory in Ireland
Katie Hammel

With more than 15 million pints of Guinness consumed each day in more than 150 countries, the popularity of this Irish beer spreads far beyond its home country. Yet Guinness remains synonymous with Ireland and for many visitors, having a few pints tops their list of “must do” activities... Read More

Galway, Ireland
Galway/Katie Hammel

Set on Ireland’s west coast, 130 miles from the bustling capital of Dublin, Galway may be the Republic of Ireland’s fourth largest city, but it comes in first in hospitality. Add in cozy pubs, great food, traditional crafts, and beautiful scenery and it’s easy to see why Galway is... Read More

 Stykkisholmur/Katie Hammel
Stykkisholmur/Katie Hammel

The land of fire and ice is hot right now — so hot that tourists outnumber locals by more than four to one — and it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the solitude this wild and sparsely populated country once offered in abundance. But away from the capital city... Read More

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Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California
Bixby Creek Bridge/Flickr/torroid

From Washington to California, the west coast of the United States is chock full of road trip opportunities, including journeys that cross state and country borders, meander up and down the coastline, bypass mountains and lakes, and offer endless opportunities to stop the car and enjoy. Here are five... Read More

Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg/Flickr/Tony Webster

The Beatles may be Liverpool’s most famous band, but as any true fan knows, it was the city of Hamburg that shaped them the most. Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city. Twice as big as London and with more canals and bridges than Venice, it’s a maritime city built around... Read More

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Great Tide Pool at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California
Great Tide Pool/Monterey Bay Aquarium

Once the capital of Alta California (under Mexican rule), and the former home of writer John Steinbeck, California’s Monterey is a city full of history. While adults will appreciate Monterey’s charming small-town feel, excellent restaurants, and in-town tasting rooms, there’s plenty for kids to be excited about as well.... Read More

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, California
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park/Flickr/Nathan Yergler

The region of Big Sur stretches for about 60 miles along California’s rugged Central Coast, where ancient redwood trees reach for the sky, the road wiggles along the edge of the ocean, and from June to October, migrating whales can be spotted offshore. Though the area is best known... Read More

Pfefferbett Hostel in Berlin, Germany
Pfefferbett Hostel

Berlin has always been a city that’s good at reusing abandoned spaces in creative ways. Tempelhof, an old airport built in 1923, is now a massive public park (the hangars now house hundreds of refugees). In the middle of the Spree river, the Badeschiff is a floating swimming pool... Read More

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The Pez Museum in California
Pez Museum/Flickr/Konrad Summers

Home to international tech companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, Silicon Valley is the center of the technology industry. It encompasses the cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino, and more — all linked by interstate 101 and the Caltrain system, making it an easy day... Read More

Antarctica/Katie Hammel

Antarctica is a place of extremes: It’s not only the southernmost continent, but also the coldest, driest, and windiest. A trip to Antarctica isn’t a vacation so much as an expedition, an exciting journey into a wild and inhospitable land — and it can only be done via ship.... Read More

Clement Hotel guest suite in California
Clement Hotel guest suite/Katie Hammel

Luxury can mean a lot of different things. At the Clement Hotel in Palo Alto it means never having to sign for a charge, pull out a credit card, or leave a tip. The Clement is all-inclusive, and they do mean “all.” Meals and drinks are included, whether you... Read More

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 Westfjords/flickr/Bernard McManus
Westfjords/flickr/Bernard McManus

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the country, Iceland’s Westfjords region is a mass of narrow, mountainous peninsulas plunging into the Atlantic. Fewer than 6 percent of all visitors travel to the Westfjords, making it the least visited place in the increasingly popular tourist destination. While getting there isn’t... Read More

Annecy, France

Set on the edge of a bright blue lake, surrounded by mountains and with a view of the French Alps, Annecy is a charming little medieval town known as “the Venice of the Alps” for its many canals. It’s a romantic and idyllic spot for a day trip, with... Read More

Icelandic horses in Iceland
Icelandic horses/Flickr/Christopher Michel

Iceland is an idiosyncratic place. In the winter, darkness reigns, while in the summer, the sun barely sets. The country is roughly the size of Kentucky and 10 percent of it’s covered in glaciers, yet there’s room for 66 golf courses. It’s a place where “land of contrasts” is... Read More