As much as traveling is allowed now, it’s still somewhat discouraged unless necessary because of the pandemic. We know. While we’d rather get on that flight to see some exotic locale, we can nurture our wanderlust and make our staycations a lot more enjoyable by living vicariously through the best travel shows on Netflix. If Netflix is not your main streaming service, we’ve also curated the best travel shows from Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.
After you view stunning panoramic shots of the U.S. National Parks, entrees from far-off places, and feats of human bravery, you might just feel a little bit better about being stuck at home.
If you’re looking for a new travel show to binge on, Down to Earth is exactly what you need. Zac Efron travels around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to highlight different sustainable ways of living. By shining a light on solutions to problems rather than the problems themselves, this docuseries has an overall positive message. And Efron’s bro-like presence only makes it more enjoyable.
Main Cast: Zac Efron, Darin Olien, Carmen Yulín Cruz
Total Episodes: 8
IMDb Rating: 8.1
This wonderful show all began during the filming of director and actor Jon Favreau’s hit movie, Chef. Roy Choi had been brought on as a consultant for the film and the two ended up bonding over the cooking process. Throughout the series, the lighthearted duo travels around the country cooking with celebrities and famous chefs. They also showcase a variety of delicious recipes, taking you step-by-step through the process along the way. The Chef Show is also one of our top picks for the best cooking shows on Netflix right now.
Main Cast: Jon Favreau, Roy Choi, Aaron Franklin
Total Episodes: 25
IMDb Rating: 8.2
This Netflix series from the creators of Chef’s Table will explore a different region each season. We start off on the streets of much of Asia — Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and more — to see the carts, stalls, and markets that folks visit on the go, in the middle of the night, or even every day. Unlike other food shows, Street Food spends each episode highlighting the intense personal connection between the meals and the people who make them. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds, then pretend you can smell all the smells.
Main Cast: Philip Hersh, Caitlyn Elizabeth, Daniel Lee Gray
Total Episodes: 9
IMDb Rating: 8.0
All of the most potent documentary films, in-depth magazine features, and stirring nonfiction works have someone to thank: The person behind the camera. Photographers are often left out of the spotlight because they’re too busy searching for the next perfect shot (and, you know, taking it). Tales By Light, which began as a short series from Canon and evolved into a partnership with National Geographic, introduces you to one amazing photographer in each episode and takes you along his or her next journey to capture elusive wildlife, unique communities, and heartfelt themes. The almost metaphysical look through the lens at another person looking through a lens encourages you to see the subject matter in a slightly different light (no pun on the show’s name intended).
Main Cast: Art Wolfe, Eric Cheng, Stephen Dupont
Total Episodes: 18
IMDb Rating: 8.3
El Capitan in Yosemite is one of the most famous climbing destinations, and the Dawn Wall, so named because it is the first thing in the valley to be illuminated in the morning, had never been free-climbed (the act of using equipment only to protect from falls, not to assist in climbing) until Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen took it on. The documentary explains the years of training and each climber’s motivation for attempting the world-record climb.
Main Cast: John Branch, Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson
Total Length: 100 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Cults, rituals, gangs, war zones, crime scenes, and ancient ruins. In this documentary, our host, David Farrier, travels the world in search of the dark, the devious, and the dastardly. Unlike the other features in this list, this series will show a whole new side of tourism, where the darkest sides of humanity are shown all around the world.
Main Cast: David Farrier, Christian Wolf, Robin Brown
Total Episodes: 8
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Would you travel through foreign countries with your dad? Comedian Jack Whitehall drags his father, Michael, around on unlikely adventures that force them both out of their comfort zones. Their difference in tastes causes some interesting (and often funny) disagreements. For example: One of them wants to stay in a hostel. The other wants to stay in a five-star hotel. Who do you think wins?
Main Cast: Jack Whitehall, Michael Whitehall, Hilary Whitehall
Total Episodes: 13
IMDb Rating: 7.6
Ultrarunners and marathoners are notoriously gear-obsessed. Who doesn’t want the latest technology in shoes, clothes, and snacks? Lorena Ramírez bucks that trend completely. The Mexican native competes in her indigenous garb: sandals and skirts.
Main Cast: Lorena Ramirez, Mario Ramírez, Santiago Ramírez
Total length: 28 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.0
What’s more intense than spending an entire year cycling across 22 different countries? Filming yourself while you’re doing it. Felix Starck’s self-produced documentary of his journey will have you itching to try something similar.
Main Cast: Felix Starck
Total Length: 84 minutes
IMDb Rating: 5.0
If you like all kinds of docs, we’ve got you covered with Netflix documentaries (or maybe you’re just really into crime docs and action flicks). We also have an overall guide on the best Netflix movies and Netflix shows.
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