AAA Explorer | October/November/December 2023

Plate of carbonara.
The surprising history of carbonara

A writer turns detective to untangle the controversial history of this classic pasta dish. Can Italians handle the truth?

People chatting inside a greenhouse.
Urban farms focus on cultivating crops and community

Many U.S. urban farms aim to grow more than fresh produce; they also educate people about farming and serve as social hubs.

Pot of birria.
This centuries-old Mexican dish is booming in the U.S.

Birria, a marinated meat dish that’s iconic in the Mexican state of Jalisco, has been growing in popularity north of the border.

Illustration of a woman in an airport, where the floor is actually a cellphone screen.
Ask the Traveler

How can I protect my data while traveling?

Someone holding a catalytic converter.

Here’s how you can prevent catalytic converter theft, plus which cars are targeted the most by thieves.

House with a fallen tree on the roof.
Smart Coverage

Find out what to do if your home is in a high-risk area and deemed uninsurable by some companies.


Lalas Gorditas sope served with pickled veggies and rice.
7 of the best Mexican restaurants in Texas

Seven culinary experts share their favorite spots for Mexican food across the Lone Star State.

Carrot tartare.
Texas Kitchen: Carrot tartare

Brian Light, executive chef at Ronin, gets ingredients and inspiration from the family farm.

Oysters on the half shell.
8 of the best small-town Texas restaurants

Find delicious eats at a tiny taqueria, a French bistro, a barbecue joint, and more eateries.


Vineyards and wine trails in the Midwest

A bounty of inviting wineries await in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.

Tank Trip: Weston, Missouri

This community extends hospitality with inviting boutiques, a historic distillery, and more.

Find cheap eats at these 10 restaurants

These inexpensive, delicious foods include barbecue, jambalaya, and even brain sandwiches.


Blues band performing.
A road trip along Mississippi’s Blues Trail

A traveler feasts on memorable music and distinctive cuisine during a trip across the Delta.

Aerial view of the Crescent Hotel and surrounding forest.
Tank Trip: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

This eclectic Victorian town has vibrant arts, historic hotels, outdoor adventures, and more.

Exterior of Ripley's Believe It or Not building.
11 unique attractions you have to visit

From a massive mailbox to a collection of shrunken heads, these unusual sites are worth a trip.

Northern New England

6 farm-to-table restaurants in New England

Choose any of these locations to savor the bounty of the land at its peak quality and freshness.

6 diverse, delicious chowders

Slurp and savor these outstanding versions of New England's quintessential soup.

9 scenic drives in Northern New England

Soak in beautiful landscapes and stop for interesting activities on these road trips.


Interior of Dreamland BBQ.
The ABCs of Alabama BBQ

Here’s your guide to Alabama’s dizzying array of flavors, sauces, and can’t-miss institutions.

Food served with a glass of white wine.
3 Alabama cities for foodies

This trio of delicious destinations are perfect for a weekend getaway in the Yellowhammer State.

Guest room with a recording studio theme.
8 unique places to stay in Alabama

Who wouldn’t enjoy a night at a hidden cabin, a storybook castle, or a luxury treehouse?


Beauty awaits aboard the Virginia Scenic Railway

Soak in Blue Ridge landscapes during a 3-hour round-trip tour in a restored vintage railcar.

Say “Prost!” at these Oktoberfests in Virginia

These 5 celebrations throughout the state boast beer, food, music, games, and community.

Fun things to do

A curated list of the best upcoming events in Tidewater Virginia.

New Mexico

The Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash.
6 restaurants that honor Indigenous culture

Learn about the foods and agricultural techniques that define New Mexican cuisine at these spots.

Lemonades with a layer of green chile.
10 interesting green chile treats

Taste your way along the Walk of Flame with foods that incorporate this iconic ingredient.

Aerial view of the UNM campus.
UNM students share their favorite spots

Looking for a bargain in Duke City? Check out these restaurants, thrift stores, and more.


The stoke is real at this wave pool

A longtime surfer tests Hawai‘i’s first artificial wave pool, The LineUp at Wai Kai on O‘ahu.

Essay: Lāhainā is in the heart

In the aftermath of wildfires in Maui, grief permeates the Aloha State. And yet, hope remains.

7 farmers markets in Hawai‘i

Shop local at these markets throughout the Islands. You might even find a great deal.

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