Johnny Apple died recently. While most will recall his work as war correspondent for the New York Times, for me, it's his work as a travel writer that first comes to mind.
Apple's Europe and Apple's America are great reads -- beautiful and eloquent without being elitist. You can read excerpts of America at Amazon.com; Apple's Europe is rather hard to find -- if you stumble upon a copy, grab it.
First sentence, Apple's America:
Boston is one of the oldest American cities, a repository of our national past, yet it has shown an extraordinary capacity to look to the future and reinvent itself when needed.