Doug serves as the New Orleans editor for Where. He has lived in port cities all over the country—Boston, New York, L.A., San Francisco, Miami—and in 2000 happily docked in New Orleans, where he’s been chronicling the city for Where ever since. “Having grown up in the South, I tried to flee it as soon as I could, and did. It was in Boston during a college Faulkner course that I finally came to appreciate my roots…then I spent the next 20 years trying to get back to them.”

Doug’s take on New Orleans: I was never a big fan of history books before moving to New Orleans, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the city’s multi-layered back-story. More than anywhere else I’ve lived, the past is very much present here. And I love the openness and easy acceptance of New Orleanians. It doesn’t take long to make lasting connections and forever friends.

Most memorable travel experience: Following high school graduation, I spent a summer in Egypt with friends whose father was a director at the United Nations. It was totally surreal: There I was a small-town boy from backwoods Alabama having high tea at the Iranian embassy in Cairo.

Last notable trip: I visited the Smokey Mountains recently for the first time since I was a kid. It’s crazy how kitschy Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have become, but it was great to find the Smokeys still as beautiful as I remembered them.

Place you always return to visit: The Gulf Coast. I’ve lived in many coastal communities but none compare to Pensacola’s white-sand beaches. It was our summer go-to growing up. My grandparents honeymooned there during the 1920s; there’s a picture of them dressed to the nines standing in the surf. 

Articles by Douglas Brantley