L.A. Times wins top Lowell Thomas Award for ‘fun, informative and quirky’ travel coverage

Guests enjoy a trail ride at Covell's California Clydesdale Ranch, in a story from early this year. Judges called the Times Travel section "an amazing resource," as well as “fun, informative, and quirky."
(Paul Boorstin)

The Los Angeles Times Travel section has won the gold award in the 2018 Lowell Thomas competition, recognized as the most prestigious in travel journalism.

The awards were announced Monday in Bridgetown, Barbados, at the annual conference of the Society of American Travel Writers.

In recognizing The Times as having the nation’s top newspaper travel section, the judges called it an “amazing resource,” saying that its articles are, like so much travel, “fun, informative and quirky” and “fling travelers deep into astonishing places.”

Cruise columnist Rosemary McClure also received an honorable mention for her article on gentleman hosts on cruise ships.


The Times Travel section appears in Sunday editions, and additional coverage appears daily on the website. It has been honored with the Lowell Thomas gold award nine times in the last 17 years.

Ride a giant Clydesdale on a weekend escape to Cambria »

The Wall Street Journal won the silver award for newspaper travel coverage, praised for being “thoughtfully designed to be both engaging and easy to use.”

The New York Times took bronze. Judges called its work “meaty, thoughtful and visually spectacular.”

Honorable mention went to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Freelance writer Christopher Solomon of Seattle was named travel journalist of the year.

Outside magazine and the New York Times each earned eight total awards, and National Geographic Traveler won seven.

The competition, for work from spring 2017 to spring 2018, drew 1,275 entries.

Faculty from the University of Missouri School of Journalism judged the awards, which are named for author and travel journalist Lowell Thomas.

A complete list of winners can be found here.