Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio

Mariana van Zeller and Michael Voltaggio in Jerusalem’s Old City, at the hand of Christ.

We’re 1 month away from the premiere of our new series Breaking Borders an episode in Jerusalem (“Mother of All Conflicts“). Travel Channel executive producer Brian Leonard traveled to Jerusalem with the Breaking Borders crew and its co-hosts, journalist Mariana van Zeller and chef Michael Voltaggio. It was Brian’s first time in Jerusalem, so we thought it would be the perfect time to have him give us his insights on everything Israel: the people, the food, the historical significance and more.

Related: Brian Leonard Talks “Breaking Borders” on BlogTalkRadio

What were your expectations?
I could not wait to land in Israel and get to Jerusalem, even though most of what you see on the news seems like “unrest,” i.e., clashes between soldiers and the Palestinian youth, tear gas, riot helmets and flak vests. My family definitely had some concerns about safety, but that, for me, was easily overshadowed by what I was about to experience. For the record, I never felt threatened or unsafe, even when we were in the middle of some Jewish tourists being “escorted” through the Old Market in Hebron in the West Bank. There was some pushing and shoving and yelling, but it was fairly under control.


Travel Channel films with Nina Agdal in Islamorada, FL

Travel Channel films with Nina Agdal in Islamorada, FL

We know that a majority of the country is bundled up, trying to stay warm and dreaming about their next trip to the beach or some island paradise. Since we can’t physically take you far and away, join Travel Channel tonight through Wednesday for an on-screen tour of some of the hottest and sexiest beaches in the world during our annual Beach Week!

Travel Channel’s Beach Week officially kicks off tonight, at 7|6c and 8|7c, with the all-new 101 Sand n’ Surf Hotspots. From Matira Beach in Bora Bora to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, we’re counting down to the No. 1 beach in the world! READ MORE


Photo by

Beach Week is back and it’s bigger than ever! Here are 3 ways you can get into the action.

1) Visit From Sunday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 18, is celebrating the best in beaches. Check out our Best Beach Award winners (and vote for your favorite!), go behind the scenes of SI: The Making of Swimsuit 2015, watch exclusive Marianela’s Best Beaches video and more.

2) Tune-In Starting on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 8|7c: This year we’re celebrating on-air with a 4-day programming event hosted by Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal, stacked with all-new premieres and sunny, beach-paradise-themed programming to help melt away those winter blues and inspire your next getaway.

3) Share Your Best Beach Photos! That’s right, when you find yourself needing a mental break from all of this winter weather, start combing through your Facebook and Instagram feeds and dig up your best beach photos. Share them with us on Instagram with hashtag #TCBEACHWEEK for a chance to be featured!

All submissions are subject to our Terms of Use.

More Beach Week 2015:
101 Sand n’ Surf Hot Spots
Which Beach Are You? Quiz
Win $100,000 Trip to Hawaii

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Friday night in Knoxville, TN, at the Peter Kern Library (aka “the Speakeasy”) inside the Oliver Hotel, Jack Maxwell, host of the new hit show Booze Traveler, rubbed shoulders with local TV news personalities, print media and travel bloggers to raise a cocktail in honor of Friends of the Smokies. The organization will officially kick off its 2015 Evergreen Ball on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville. Our very own Jack will be the celebrity bartender!


Ghost Adventures crew at John Bell

Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley return tonight on Travel Channel for an unprecedented investigation at Bell Witch Cave. Ghost Adventures was the very first paranormal TV show to film on the Bell property.

If you’re into haunted travel, then this is an episode for you. Situated in the backwoods of Adams, TN, is Bell Witch Cave and cabin, the former home of John Bell, who was mysteriously murdered by what many believe is an evil spirit that stills resides on the property today. Zak and his team are off to investigate what lies beneath the grounds in the Bell Witch Cave and see if they can communicate with this dark entity to find the truth behind John Bell’s murder.

In anticipation of tonight’s premiere, I asked Zak and Aaron a few questions about the Bell Witch Cave. Here’s what they had to say.

How excited were you to finally get into Bell Witch Cave and cabin?

Zak: We have been trying to get the Bell Witch Cave for years. They always shot us down and said they’d never let any paranormal TV show film there. When we FINALLY got permission to investigate there, it was an absolute HONOR to be chosen. READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of The Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll

It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, Christmas for one, but also that time of year when visions of Downton Abbey‘s new season premiere dance through eager viewers’ heads. Now, fans of the holidays and the show can combine their passions in Lake Placid, NY, at the Holiday Gala Inspired by Downton Abbey on Dec. 13, which culminates with a viewing of the Season 5 premiere — 3 weeks before its PBS broadcast Jan 4.

Hello, NYC! The crowd at the Museum of the Moving Image — located in Astoria, NY– is pumped to audition to become the next Travel Channel Star! The casting call will be held today, November 10, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. We’ll do our best to record as many hopefuls as possible, but come early to secure a spot or risk braving a line.


Aaron Goodwin, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff at Loftus Hall in Ireland

Ghost Adventures Crew at Loftus Hall

We’ve come to that frightful date on the calendar once again — Oct. 31. Happy Halloween, everyone! If you aren’t venturing out for a night on the town to trick-or-treat or checking out a haunted attraction, you’ll want to turn to Travel Channel tonight at 9|8c for an epic 2-hour Ghost Adventures special: Ireland’s Celtic Demons!

Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin investigate some of the most haunted locations in Ireland: Hellfire Club, Leap Castle and Loftus Hall, where it’s said that the devil himself once spent the night. There are parts of Loftus Hall that the owner himself won’t visit!

Happy Halloween!

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Travel’s Best Halloween Attractions 2014

Andrew Zimmern

It’s been a little over 8 years since my first production meeting with Andrew Zimmern, a chef who was unknown to me at the time — as I was brand new to the TV and foodie worlds. He has hundreds of hours and thousands of miles recorded on national television, and to this day, I still ask myself, “How does he do it?” How does anyone travel so much, eat so exceptionally well, and then be expected to return to normal life? As we prepare for another season of Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, which kicks off tonight at 9|8c on Travel Channel, I decided to get the answer to that question, along with others about what we can expect on Bizarre Foods, what Andrew is most excited about this season, his future travel plans and projects in 2015, and more!

As you go into another season of Bizarre Foods, what are you most excited for the viewers to see?

I think what’s most exciting for me is that we are finally able to slow down a little this season and dive deeper into the cultural elements of the show that are more interesting to me than skimming along the surface of the places we visit. TV needs to be relevant to stay current, and today’s viewers demand that. I think this season, we are finally delivering on that in spades. READ MORE

Zak Bagans, Lead Investigator on “Ghost Adventures”

October is a big month for travelers in search of new haunts and things that go bump in the night. And speaking of hunting for the paranormal … new episodes of Ghost Adventures started airing on Travel Channel last week. In addition to visiting spooky places such as Lemp Mansion & Brewery, the GA crew packed their bags and headed across the big pond to investigate haunted Ireland. Watch the bone-chilling investigation in a 2-hour Halloween special on Friday, Oct. 31, at 9|8c.

Enter to win a trip for 2 to see some of the paranormal hot spots that the GA crew visited in Ireland. And don’t for get to stay connected to the GA crew and fans in the Ghost Adventures Fan Lair.

This month is a great month for Ghost Adventures, and it’s also a good month to check out our coveted list, Travel’s Best Halloween Attractions 2014. See our recommendations for the best haunts in America. Lead GA investigator Zak Bagans participated on our panel of advisors, and he tells us his top 3 favorite haunts and why you should add them to your must-see list.


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