The Biggest Week in Bourbontown,” Roads & Kingdoms
Although Michael Lindenberger’s epic meditation on Louisville, Kentucky—its legendary horserace, it history, its race relations, and above all, its bourbon—ran as an invitation to and primer for the Derby, it makes for splendid reading the week after Orb won decisively on a muddy track, and as a companion piece to Joe Henry’s “In Good Company” appreciation of the dining scene in the fair city on the Ohio River. —Derk Richardson

The Luckiest Village in the World,” GQ
In the early days of AFAR, a story by Michael Paterniti about a giant who lived in the Ukraine was one of our inspirations. (You can find it in the Best American Travel Writing 2006 collection. It’s called “XXXXL.”) In the latest issue of GQ, he tells the story of a small farming village in Spain that won the national lottery. He paints a vivid portrait of the town and its inhabitants and asks some big questions about what it means to be lucky. —Jeremy Saum

Michigan Travel: Great Escapes,” Hour Detroit
When most people think of Michigan, images of an economically depressed, poverty-stricken Detroit come to mind. But natives of the Mitten State (like me) picture the azure waters of the Great Lakes, the mammoth sand dunes that dot shorelines, and, yes, a Detroit worth traveling for. Hour Detroit highlights the activities that Michiganders and a growing number of outsiders have found trip-worthy, from kayaking along the stunning but oft-overlooked Detroit River to touring a new 200-mile winery trail. —Lara Takenaga

El Celler de Can Roca: A Family Meal,” Roads and Kingdoms
Matt Goulding tells a sweet story of the humble origins of the recently anointed best restaurant in the world. —Davina Baum

The El Dorado Machine,” The New Yorker
Douglas Preston goes deep into the heart of the Mosquitia rain forests in search of the ruins of la Ciudad Blanca—”the White City”—an ancient civilization that has eluded discovery for more than a century. With the help of a light-detection and radar machine, though, Preston and a team of modern day adventurers just may have put an end to the search—and made a major archeological breakthrough in the process. —Kim Fortson 

James Rhodes: ‘Find what you love and let it kill you,’” The Guardian
Some days you need someone to remind you that you can do that thing you really want to do. Concert pianist James Rhodes might be more extreme than you—he’s definitely more extreme than me—but he’s got a point. And he makes it with style and humor. —Jeremy Saum

Italian For Beginners,” Marie Claire
I enjoyed reading AFAR contributor Ondine Cohane’s account of moving to Tuscany and opening a hotel in a small village. And by “enjoyed reading,” I mean “was desperately jealous while reading.” —Davina Baum

Photo by Michael Wilson/