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T+L's Top Travel Websites of 2009


Photo: John Pirman

Advice & Resources

Decide Where to Eat in the U.S.


Click Factor: Yelp has grown from a Bay Area site into a nationwide resource (with additional presence in Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom), giving establishments up to five stars based on ratings and reviews from its avid visitors, which number 25 million a month. The site’s restaurant coverage is extensive and full of off-the-beaten-path recommendations.

Drawback: Reviews can be patchy in some cities.

Runner-up: opentable.com, where reviewers must have made a reservation to write about a restaurant.

Read Practical/Thoughtful/Zeitgeisty Travel Stories


Click Factor: The new online newspaper’s travel section runs up-to-the minute travel headlines, unusual stories (an essay on hotel reviews as social commentary), exclusive book excerpts from writers such as Alain de Botton, and interactive travel maps.

T+L Tip: Check out the site’s regular Sunday travel scorecard that follows print newspapers’ travel sections.

Find the Perfect Travel Book


Click Factor: This online bookstore brings order to the world of travel publications. While you can find much of what’s here on Amazon, Longitude takes a more neighborly attitude toward travel reading, recommending “summer reads,” “neglected classics,” “food & wine”—all organized geographically. The site’s “essential reading” list narrows the most useful reads for each region to four or five picks, helpfully grouping them at the top of the page.

T+L Tip: Can’t find what you want? Call the store. Longitude can special-order your book and its well-traveled staff can recommend books for any trip.

Runner-up: amazon.com.


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