Richard Phibbs Nancy Novogrod
| Credit: Richard Phibbs

As we navigate the turbulent waters of 2008, from the oil crisis and the economy to geopolitical conflicts and the heated U.S. presidential race, it seems like the right moment for a good old-fashioned escape.

Hence this month’s cover story, 25 Secret Seaside Getaways; featuring a carefully culled selection of places, from Mazatlán in Mexico to the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific, where the vicissitudes of world events and exchange rates will likely seem far away. What propelled this feature onto the cover of our annual Style and Culture Issue is its underlying theme—exploration and discovery—a passion that is shared by those in pursuit of art and architecture, design and fashion, and, of course, travel.

Even in a familiar city like Los Angeles, there are ample opportunities for uncovering the new, particularly in the revitalized neighborhoods documented by photographer Lisa Eisner and writer M.G. Lord (The Real Los Angeles). While taking the measure of the recently opened Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, a restored 15th-century palazzo with 11 acres of gardens, Travel + Leisure contributing editor Gini Alhadeff is brought back to her cloistered student days in a Renaissance Florentine villa (Hotel Rooms with a View). Editor-at-large Peter Jon Lindberg evokes the surprises and contradictions of India’s capital city, from its crowded streets and modern subway system to the Lodi Garden’s emerald-colored parakeets (Delhi’s New Beauty).

In this issue you will also find our special T+L Guide to Arts & Culture, highlighting the season’s best performances, exhibitions, books, music, and much more. Because what you bring along in your bag can sometimes even impact how much you enjoy your trip, we also offer Packing Tips for the Smart Traveler. E-mail us your own packing tips at entries will be published on And if you’re curious about which of 25 American cities rank at the top of voters’ lists as the best for culture, historic sites, food, and shopping (along with 41 other categories), check out the results of our America’s Favorite Cities poll with Headline News; you will be able see how your city compares with all the rest at

Finally, this month we are extremely proud to feature Eric Boman’s portfolio of photographs of original works from 18 leading artists and designers that were specially commissioned with the help of T+L contributing editor and art historian Gabriella De Ferrari. These arresting pieces, which took the globe as their starting point, are the basis of T+L’s groundbreaking Project Globe initiative—an exhibition and auction held last month in New York’s Chelsea district. The proceeds are earmarked for the worldwide conservation efforts of Future Generations, a nonprofit organization that received a 2007 Global Vision Award for its work in Tibet. The good news is that the auction continues, with some multiple editions, online at

When it comes to good old-fashioned escapes, style and culture are everywhere—whether in well-trodden cities like New York, Paris, or Rome, or in spots as remote as the farthest reaches of Australia, Africa, or Asia. And opportunities for exploration and discovery will always fuel our engagement with the world.