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Celebrity Solstice, cruise ship, lawn club
Best Alaskan Cruise: Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Solstice

Best Alaskan Cruise: Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Solstice

"You've come to see such dramatic sights as glaciers calving, whales breaching and eagles flying overhead. Being on a ship that's itself a contemporary stunner only enhances the scenery," says Fran Golden, cruise expert for USA Today’s Experience Cruise site. The 2,850-passenger Celebrity Solstice is full of “firsts,” including the first Lawn Club, a half-acre of real grass on the top deck. 960 1280

Celebrity Cruises Inc.  

Best Caribbean Cruise: Sea Dream Yacht Club, Sea Dream I and Sea Dream II

Best Caribbean Cruise: Sea Dream Yacht Club, Sea Dream I and Sea Dream II

Sea Dream’s twin luxury yachts, the Sea Dream I and Sea Dream II, carry 112 passengers each and visit the most exclusive ports, including St. Barts, Bequia and St. John. “The cruise line offers the Champagne & Caviar Splash, where guests wade into the surf to indulge in premium caviar and bubbles, served on a surfboard covered in white linens, and enjoy a barbecue feast on a secluded white-sand beach,” says Anne Campbell, editor of CruisingFromNewYork.com and ShipCriticBlog.com. 960 1280

SeaDream Yacht Club  

Best European River Cruise: AmaWaterways, AmaCerto

Best European River Cruise: AmaWaterways, AmaCerto

“Sailing aboard AmaWaterways’ AmaCerto provided a comfortable and intimate ambience, amazing food and service, and the ability to dock right in the heart of Europe’s fascinating cities,” says Bill Panoff, publisher and editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine. As the ship sails along the Danube and Rhine rivers, among others, guests are afforded picture-perfect views of ever-changing scenery and regular ports of call such as Amsterdam; Zurich, Basel and Lucerne, Switzerland; Cologne, Germany; Vienna, Austria; and Budapest, Hungary. 960 1280

AmaWaterways  

Best Family Cruise: Royal Caribbean, Anthem of the Seas

Best Family Cruise: Royal Caribbean, Anthem of the Seas

"Royal Caribbean's new, 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas is one of the most exciting ships in years. It’s fun for the whole family," says Fran Golden. Kids can ride bumper cars in the SeaPlex sports center or feel what it’s like to go skydiving in the RipCord by iFly, while parents can grab a cocktail from the robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar. Beginning in the fall, this ship will start sailing to new ports of call such as Bermuda and the Bahamas. 960 1280

Royal Caribbean International  

Best Hawaiian Cruise: Norwegian Cruise Line, Pride of America

Best Hawaiian Cruise: Norwegian Cruise Line, Pride of America

It made our Travel’s Best Cruises 2014 list, and this year, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America remains the reigning champion in the Best Hawaiian Cruise category. It's the only major US-flagged cruise ship that offers passengers a total of nearly 100 hours of port time on all 4 main Hawaiian Islands during a 7-night voyage. "Other cruise lines sail to the islands from LA or San Francisco, which usually means passengers spend only 52 hours in port to see 3 islands on a 15-night cruise,” says Stewart Chiron, president and CEO of CruiseGuy.com. 960 1280

Danny Lehman  

Best Luxury Cruise: Seabourn Cruise Line, Seabourn Odyssey

Best Luxury Cruise: Seabourn Cruise Line, Seabourn Odyssey

Without a doubt, Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Odyssey is for the traveler who wants to be pampered at sea. This ship has 225 ocean-view luxury suites, the Spa at Seabourn, and a few upscale bars and restaurants for passengers to grab a cocktail or enjoy a delicious meal. “World-renowned American chef Thomas Keller partnered with the cruise line to create new menu items and a signature restaurant (making its debut in 2016) across its entire fleet of ships,” says Stewart Chiron. The cruise line visits more than 170 World Heritage Sites, including Thebes in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru and the temple complex of Borobudur on Java, an island in Indonesia. 960 1280

Seabourn  

Best Mediterranean Cruise: Viking Ocean Cruises, Viking Star

Best Mediterranean Cruise: Viking Ocean Cruises, Viking Star

On Viking Ocean Cruises’ first ship, the Viking Star, passengers can swim in the glass-backed infinity pool; watch a movie under the stars; and feel snowflakes descend onto their skin in the spa’s Snow Grotto. “The 930-passenger ship pleasantly draws guests’ attention to the picturesque Mediterranean and Baltic scenery with amenities including a double-decker observation lounge, 2-story panoramic windows in the Explorers’ Lounge, and alfresco dining experiences,” says Jason Leppert, editor of PopularCruising.com. With these amazing amenities and special features, the Viking Star is the only way to cruise in the Mediterranean. 960 1280

Viking Cruises  

Best Mexican Cruise: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Miracle

Best Mexican Cruise: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Miracle

Carnival Cruise Line's recently upgraded Carnival Miracle sails year-round to the Mexican Riviera from Long Beach, CA, for 6- or 7-day journeys. “With the new Fun Ship 2.0 features added this year, the ship is a perfect choice for heading to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta,” says Jason Leppert. The additions include the RedFrog Pub and Alchemy Bar watering holes; Seuss at Sea for kids; Hasbro, the Game Show for families; and new, energetic Playlist Productions shows, such as Motor City. Have some fun exploring Mexico via fun excursions, including fly-fishing in the Sea of Cortez and horseback riding through the Sierra Madre. 960 1280

(L) Carnival Cruise Lines, (R) Elena Elisseeva/iStock/Getty Images   

Best Theme Cruise: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Live

Best Theme Cruise: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Live

“One cruise line that has really met the demand for music lovers is Carnival Cruise Line, which launched its Carnival Live concert series cruises several years ago and continues to offer these special sailings,” says Bill Panoff. Past artists have included Chicago, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum and Journey; upcoming performers include Heart, Boston and Lionel Richie. The line is expected to announce next spring’s lineup in the months ahead. 960 1280

Carnival Cruise Lines  

Unexpected Cruise for Food: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Breeze

Unexpected Cruise for Food: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Breeze

While Carnival Cruise Line's ships are in the midpriced category, their food surpasses cuisine served by pricier competitors. The Carnival Breeze has something for even the most finicky eater, with 10 restaurants serving up a variety of lip-smacking food, including juicy burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint, owned by Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri. “I had a memorable meal in the Steakhouse, indulged at the Bonsai sushi bar and savored Italian delicacies at the Cucina del Capitano restaurant, topped off by some of the finest wines at sea,” says Anne Campbell. 960 1280

(L) Carnival Cruise Lines, (R) Miguelangelbriones/RooM/Getty Images   

Travel's Best

Cruises 2015  10 Photos

Get Inspired to Travel

Chisos Mountains
Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is a paradise for stargazers. The park is so remote that light pollution is among the lowest in the entire US. Here, you can clearly see the Milky Way and a shooting star! Visit photographer Nick Parisse’s website to see more of his photos. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Chisos Mountains

Chisos Mountains

High in the Chisos Mountains, a hiker surveys the land as he decides which trail to take. Big Bend is often referred to as “3 parks in one” because of its size and diverse environments -- mountains, desert and river. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Chihuahuan Desert

Chihuahuan Desert

The Chihuahuan Desert, one of the wettest in North America, has dense shrubbery that blankets the Chisos Basin. Here, the sun begins to set behind the mountains as a cold front moves in. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Backcountry Critter

Backcountry Critter

A tarantula makes its way across a backcountry trail in Big Bend National Park, TX. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Pinnacles Trail

Pinnacles Trail

Cacti cover a meadow along the Pinnacles trail in Big Bend National Park. Fall temperatures are mild, and colorful flora is still blooming in the winter. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Rio Grande

Rio Grande

A narrow stretch of the Rio Grande acts as a natural border between the US and Mexico. This view from Santa Elena Canyon, located in the southern region of the park, shows the US on the left and Mexico on the right. The Chisos Mountains are also visible in the distance. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Even on an overcast day, the sun still finds a way to illuminate the mountains. This photo was taken on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

The Big Room

The Big Room

A cluster of stalactites hang from the ceiling of “The Big Room” in Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Cozy Home for Bats

Cozy Home for Bats

With a little natural light, this is a view from inside Carlsbad Caverns. In the summer months the caverns are home to thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Stunning Stalagmites

Stunning Stalagmites

Light shines on the cavern floor and ceiling, providing visitors with a view of huge stalagmites that can take thousands of years to form. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Scenic Walkway

Scenic Walkway

Visitors get an amazing view of this scenery along a walkway that turns into the entrance of the deepest part of Carlsbad Caverns -- nearly 750 feet deep. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Mineral Deposits

Mineral Deposits

Massive mineral deposits mushroom up from the floor of the caverns. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Natural Cavern Entrance

Natural Cavern Entrance

The natural entrance to the caverns is a paved switchback trail leading visitors underground to discover numerous geological wonders. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Stargazer's Heaven

Stargazer's Heaven

Even the light from a full moon and a few passing clouds couldn’t diminish the clarity of the stars in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, in Salt Flat, TX. Stargazers should add this park to their must-see list. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of America’s least-visited parks. It’s hard to understand why with unobstructed views like this. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Tejas Trail

Tejas Trail

Visible on the left, the sun lights up the switchbacks along the mountainside on Tejas Trail. The strenuous 10-mile, round-trip hike offers visitors some of the most beautiful views in the park. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Devil's Hall Hike

Devil's Hall Hike

The spectacular hike into “Devil’s Hall” brings visitors around mountains and through a dry river channel. In an effort not to unnecessarily detract from the natural views, rock cairns act as trail markers. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Devil's Hall

Devil's Hall

Here’s a view from “Devil’s Hall” as the path narrows. “Hiker’s Staircase” is visible in the foreground. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Epic Mountain View

Epic Mountain View

This is one of many mountain views visitors will encounter while on a backcountry hike through Guadalupe Mountains National Park. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument offers visitors several recreational activities, including picnicking, hiking, camping, scenic drives and sledding. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Morning at Monument

Morning at Monument

The sun breaks through the clouds on an early morning in White Sands National Monument. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Gem Hunter's Paradise

Gem Hunter's Paradise

Covering over 275 square miles, White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Capoeira on a Dune

Capoeira on a Dune

A well-traversed dune is the perfect place for this traveler to occupy his time and practice the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

National Park Camping

National Park Camping

It’s time to pack up camp and move along as the sun rises. White Sands offers backcountry camping for guests who want to sleep under the stars. Visit Nick Parisse’s website to see more of his photos. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

POV (Washington, DC)
KU DÉ TA (Singapore)

KU DÉ TA (Singapore)

KU DÉ TA is a premiere rooftop party bar -- emphasis on the rooftop -- as it sits on the 57th floor of Singapore's newest architectural landmark the Marina Bay Sands. Part of the spectacular SkyPark the bar lets guests take in one of the best unobstructed views of the city and the rooftop's infamous infinity pool. Whether you’re watching the sunset over mini wagyu beef burgers with fontina cheese green chili mayo and smoked tomato relish or mesmerized by the nightly laser show KU DÉ TA is a place to see and be seen.

Insider's Tip: The price for a cocktail like the Lady Be Mine Grey Goose martini with lychee and rose water is $16 roughly the same fee the resort complex charges to board the elevator to the observation deck just below -- so think of it as breaking even.
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Ku De Ta / Rory Daniel  

Plunge (New York)

Plunge (New York)

Taking over the Gansevoort Hotel's 14th-floor penthouse in the Meatpacking District this granddaddy of New York's rooftop bars is still among the city's best -- with some of the most stylish parties an amazing outdoor pool and of course a sick view of the NYC skyline and the Hudson River. Plunge is packed with pretty young things on the weekends so those not looking to be part of the scene may prefer to watch the sunset from the wraparound balcony mid-week.

Insider's Tip: Give the recently revamped American bistro-style menu with its fresh chopped salad jumbo shrimp skewers or rooftop sliders a shot; you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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Magda Biernat  

The Roof, ME Madrid (Madrid)

The Roof, ME Madrid (Madrid)

If your first glimpse of this club atop the ME Madrid is the line to enter – at its peak length during summertime -- know that it's worth the wait. Once you board the private elevator to the penthouse terrace you'll be treated to unmatched views of Madrid's skyline. Owned by Randy Gerber (also known as Cindy Crawford's husband) this swanky rooftop consistently attracts beautiful locals and celebrities alike thanks to guest DJ sessions inviting daybeds and a VIP bar embedded in a stonewall.

Insider's Tip: Like most places on our list cocktails are on the pricier side; if you're going to have just one make it the Black Mojito.
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ME Madrid Reina Victoria  

Three Sixty (St. Louis)

Three Sixty (St. Louis)

For a bird's-eye view of Busch Stadium pass on the nosebleed seats -- instead head to this slick new rooftop bar atop the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Panoramic views of the Gateway Arch serve as the backdrop for gourmet bites prepared by Chef Rex Hale such as house-smoked salmon chips mini New England lobster rolls and Korean BBQ pork tacos. Save room for the sweet stuff; the desserts -- especially the house-made Kit Kat Bars -- are among the best in the city. The 6000-square-foot indoor and outdoor space accommodates cozy fire pits flat-screen TVs and several bars making Three Sixty a year-round destination.

Insider's Tip: Cardinals fans hold on to your ticket stub to skip the $10 cover charge after the game. And for those trying to score one of the coveted tables overlooking the field Three Sixty opens up at least 2 hours before every home game.
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Hilton Hotels & Resorts / Debbie Franke  

POV (Washington, DC)

POV (Washington, DC)

To see the Washington Monument in all of its recently-not-scaffolded glory head to this trendy rooftop bar perched atop the historic W Hotel. POV's velvet banquets and black wicker chairs are first come first serve so we suggest arriving in plenty of time to watch the sun go down or you may have to wait in line to board the elevator to the 11th floor. Drinks are expensive by DC-standards which lends itself to tourists and special occasions (both bachelorette parties and proposals are popular here) but unobstructed views of Washington lit up at night has its price.

Insider's Tip: The scene is more club than cocktail bar after 10 p.m. so we suggest either springing for a table with bottle service next to the dance floor or for a more economical option meeting up around the corner at The Hamilton for dinner and drinks before taking in the view.
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Starwood / W Hotel  

SEVVA (Hong Kong)

SEVVA (Hong Kong)

If you're looking for one of the most glamorous bars in Hong Kong -- or possibly the world -- look no farther than this penthouse bar on top of the prestigious Prince's Building. SEVVA's 360-degree views of Sir Norman Foster's HSBC building and I.M. Pei's Bank of China tower from its wrap-around terrace combined with dazzling interiors that reflect owner Bonnie Gokson's iconic style has made this the top spot for impressing out-of-towners. The well-coiffed crowd clamors for dishes such as the baked truffled mac and cheese and signature crunch cake from the Taste Bar. Also popular is the traditional high tea where you'll be Instagramming 3 tiers of Ms. B's treats -- including chocolate fudge cake with marmalade and mini short rib burgers -- as much as the scenery.

Insider's Tip: The SEVVA terrace is an ideal vantage point for the popular "Symphony of Lights" laser show that illuminates Hong Kong's famous skyscrapers.
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Sevva  

The American Bar (Austria)

The American Bar (Austria)

End your day with a relaxing sundowner and panoramic views of the Alps on the heated rooftop terrace of Innsbruck's glass architectural gem The Penz Hotel. Order the signature Fifth Floor cocktail a Bellini Royal consisting of peaches and champagne or ask one of the skilled bartenders to whip up something unique. An added bonus for hotel guests is that they can begin the day with an extensive breakfast buffet (with more fresh fruit than you can name) served against the same beautiful backdrop.

Insider's Tip: People who don't like smoke should be aware that cigars are permitted inside.
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The Penz Hotel  

New York Bar (Tokyo)

New York Bar (Tokyo)

This landmark bar, situated on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, served as the backdrop of Lost in Translation. Rather than shy away from the Sophia Coppola connection, the bar embraces it, even creating the L.I.T. Cocktail of sake, Sakura liqueur, Peachtree schnapps and cranberry juice. Enjoy the panoramic views of Shinjuku, order from the extensive wine menu (over 1,600 bottles to choose from), listen to live jazz and try to get in a "New York state of mind" -- while in Tokyo.

Insider's Tip: We recommend arriving before 6:30 p.m. to avoid a line and watch the sunset through the floor-to-ceiling windows. After 8 p.m. there is a cover charge of approximately $20 for guests not staying at the Park Hyatt.
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Tokyo Park Hyatt  

Bramante Terrace (Rome)

Bramante Terrace (Rome)

Just one block from the Piazza Navona atop the ivy-covered Hotel Raphael, this multi-level rooftop garden boasts sweeping views of the Eternal City in the summer. Order an omelet of artichokes, red onions and fresh mint for lunch from Chef Jean-Luc Fruneau's creative Mediterranean menu (now completely vegetarian) or watch the sun set between St. Peter's Basilica and Castel Sant'Angelo over fresh caciotta cheese ravioli and marjoram with cherry tomatoes and basil at dinner.

Insider's Tip: One of the most romantic places in Rome -- don't be surprised if you see a proposal take place while here!
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The Hotel Raphael  

VUE Bar (Shanghai)

VUE Bar (Shanghai)

Spread over levels 32 and 33 of the 5-star Hyatt on The Bund in Shanghai, VUE offers guests 2 floors and 2 distinct views overlooking the historic waterfront and the futuristic Pudong skyline on either side of the Huangpu River. Pull up a seat at this sophisticated lounge's circular cocktail bar or continue up the spiral staircase to the open-air terrace where you can lounge in a 4-poster daybed or take a dip in the marble whirlpool.

Insider's Tip: For those who can justify a $100-plus price tag, VUE's bottomless brunch is hard to beat: free-flowing Perrier Jouet Champagne, a Bloody Mary counter and chefs preparing dishes the include everything from made-to-order eggs to lightly pickled steak tartare on brioche.
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Hyatt on the Bund  

Galaxy Restaurant & Bar (Athens)

Galaxy Restaurant & Bar (Athens)

The star of the Athens skyline is the majestic Acropolis -- and there's no place where it seems to burn more brightly than from the Galaxy Restaurant & Bar atop the Hilton Athens. A hot spot for locals and tourists this chic open-air terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or a romantic dinner. We suggest starting with one of the restaurant's inventive (read: not just Greek) salads or sesame-crusted seared tuna with snow pies caviar pickled pearl onions black and yellow cherries and a truffle vinaigrette followed by an assortment of sushi. Otherwise try the Surf 'n' Turf a beef tenderloin and lobster tail atop a sizzling hot stone.

Insider's Tip: If you can't snag a reservation stop by for an aperitif the bar typically opens 2 1/2 hours before dinner service starts.
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Hilton Hotels & Resorts   

360 (Istanbul)

360 (Istanbul)

True to its name the 360-degree views stretching over Istanbul and the Bosphorus Straight are enough to take your breath away -- but so are the "special occasion" prices. Forgo 360's Turkish-fusion menu and instead come early score a coveted window seat and nurse your drink while snacking on stuffed olives and nuts before grabbing some street food nearby. On weekends the restaurant turns into a club around midnight until the wee hours with avant-garde entertainment (including burlesque) up-and-coming DJs and well-mixed cocktails.

Insider's Tip: The unassuming entrance in the historic Misir apartment building is easily missed but don't let that deter you -- once you've entered the lobby take the elevator directly to the 8th floor and follow the candlelit stairs.
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360 Istanbul Turkey  

Germany's First Walrus Calf
Germany's First Walrus Calf

Germany's First Walrus Calf

Walrus Dyna and her calf are unveiled to the public in Hamburg, Germany. The newborn calf was born in the Hagenbeck Zoo and it's the first and only walrus ever born in Germany. 960 1280

REUTERS / Morris Mac Matzen  

Leopard Cubs in France

Leopard Cubs in France

Two female Sri Lankan baby leopards are seen in a zoo in Maubeuge, France. 960 1280

REUTERS / Yves Herman  

White Lion Cub in Budapest

White Lion Cub in Budapest

A 7-week-old white lion cub plays at a private zoo in Abony, east of Budapest, Hungary. 960 1280

REUTERS / Laszio Balogh  

Baby Flamingo at San Diego Zoo

Baby Flamingo at San Diego Zoo

A 10-day-old pink flamingo, born in captivity, is seen at the San Diego Zoo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Cute Koala Joey in Sydney

Cute Koala Joey in Sydney

A koala joey named 'Boonda' clings to his mother 'Elle' as they sit in their enclosure at Wildlife World in Sydney. 960 1280

Reuters  

It’s Twins!

It’s Twins!

Kit and Kitty are twin red pandas born at Tierpark Zoo in Berlin. The red panda is a rare mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Squirrel Monkey

Baby Squirrel Monkey

A three-week-old baby squirrel monkey clings to its mother's back at Edogawa Natural Zoo in Tokyo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Berlin Zoo’s Hippopotamus Calf

Berlin Zoo’s Hippopotamus Calf

Hippopotamus calf and mother Nicole are pictured at the Berlin Zoo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Meerkats at London Zoo

Baby Meerkats at London Zoo

Zoo keeper Suzi Hyde poses with a pair of hand-reared baby meerkats named Lia and Roo at the London Zoo. Suzi has been hand-rearing the meerkats since their mother abandoned them. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Armadillo in Managua

Baby Armadillo in Managua

A zookeeper bottle-feeds a 4-day-old armadillo in Managua, Nicaragua. 960 1280

Reuters  

Lion Cub in Jordan

Lion Cub in Jordan

A newborn African lion cub plays with its mother inside their cage at Jordan's zoo in the town of Yaduda, near the capital of Amman. 960 1280

Reuters  

Prague Zoo's Baby Giraffe

Prague Zoo's Baby Giraffe

The Rothschild's giraffe is seen with her newborn foal at Prague Zoo, Czech Republic. 960 1280

Reuters  

Elephant Calf in Vienna

Elephant Calf in Vienna

An African elephant calf walks next to its mother, Numbi, in their enclosure in Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Sea Lion at Berlin Zoo

Baby Sea Lion at Berlin Zoo

California sea lion Doro (R) nuzzles her 2-month-old baby Gina in their enclosure at the Berlin Zoo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Parrot at Chester Zoo

Baby Parrot at Chester Zoo

A week-old Mount Apo Lorikeet is fed by a zookeeper at the Chester Zoo in northern England. 960 1280

Reuters  

Tiger Cub in China

Tiger Cub in China

A Siberian tiger cub is seen with its mother at a zoo in Harbin, China. 960 1280

Reuters  

Leopard Cub in Germany

Leopard Cub in Germany

A black Amur leopard cub receives its first taste of meat at the Serengeti Safari Park in Hodenhagen, Germany. 960 1280

Reuters  

Aw … Chimpanzee Twins

Aw … Chimpanzee Twins

Eleven-day-old male chimpanzee twins at the Walter private zoo in Gossau, Switzerland. 960 1280

Reuters  

Bush Dog Pup

Bush Dog Pup

A zookeeper holds a 6-week-old bush dog pup during a check-up at Chester Zoo in northern England. 960 1280

Reuters  

Ride to Mount Rushmore
The Rally Starts Here

The Rally Starts Here

Each year, for 7 days in August, bikers and revelers gather on Main Street in Sturgis, SD, near the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming for what is nothing short of a good time! 960 1280

  

Sturgis Main Street

Sturgis Main Street

Welcome to “ground zero” -- the hub of activity during bike week. Sturgis may be named after a 19th-century military officer (Samuel Sturgis) but its claim to fame is the annual bike rally. Every year, the small city of 6,700 people sees huge crowds -- last year’s rally attracted 416,727 people. Here, a shot of Main Street during rally week. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Sturgis Hounds

Sturgis Hounds

People aren't the only Sturgis Rally attendees. Perfect example: These dachshunds ride along Main Street with their owner. 960 1280

  

Man's Best Friend

Man's Best Friend

Again, Sturgis isn't just for humans. Pictured here: a chihuahua and his owner dress the part for a week of biker festivities. 960 1280

  

Black Hills Copter Ride

Black Hills Copter Ride

It’s not just motorcycles you can enjoy during rally week, it’s helicopters, too. Soar above the Black Hills mountaintops, and take in views of the area’s other historic towns -- Lead, Deadwood, Keystone and Custer -- that also roar with activity during bike week. 960 1280

Michael Jacob, Black Hills Aerial Adventures  

Wall of Death

Wall of Death

Biker builder and trickster Jay Lightnin' performs on the Wall of Death. 960 1280

  

Sturgis Eats

Sturgis Eats

With hundreds of thousands of visitors attending the Sturgis Rally each year, long days and nights mean big appetites. Pictured here is just one sample of what the revelers enjoy: a brisket sandwich. 960 1280

  

Buffalo Chips

Buffalo Chips

Each year America celebrates Miss America and even Miss Universe. At Sturgis, they celebrate their own annual pageantry by nominating a new Miss Buffalo Chip. The crowd has gathered at the Buffalo Chip stage during Miss Buffalo Chip pageant. 960 1280

  

The Place to Be

The Place to Be

View of Broken Spoke Campground. A popular place for bikers and their friends and family to set up camp during the 7-day rally. 960 1280

  

Sturgis Tricks

Sturgis Tricks

At Sturgis, it’s often the time to turn tricks and show off. The rider is Jeremiah Wood, a performer in the AMD Wall of Death crew. The bike is fastened down to 2 metal poles, which allow the riders to run the engine and make the wheels turn without the bike going anywhere. 960 1280

  

Man in Charge

Man in Charge

Jack Schitt is the master of ceremonies of the Broken Spoke -- one of the campgrounds during the Sturgis Rally. As MC, Jack is in charge of entertaining hundreds of Sturgis Rally attendees during the lively nightlife at the Broken Spoke. 960 1280

  

Ride to Mount Rushmore

Ride to Mount Rushmore

Bikers head 37 miles from downtown Sturgis to see the top landmark in South Dakota’s Black Hills area: Mt. Rushmore. The most direct route is Interstate 90 -- exit at Rapid City and follow US Highway 16 southwest to Keystone and then Highway 244 to Mount Rushmore. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Deadwood Casinos

Deadwood Casinos

Gambling was part of the scene in the Old West -- and still is today. Head 11 miles from Sturgis to Deadwood: The historic town bustles with the cha-ching of slot machines at casinos such as The Midnight Star (owned by actor Kevin Costner) and, pictured here, Mustang Sally’s. 960 1280

Pete Zarria, flickr  

Lodging in Sturgis

Lodging in Sturgis

Lodging options in the Sturgis area include mountain cabins, bed-and-breakfasts, campsites, chain hotels and mom-and-pop operations like Welsh’s Motel in Wall, SD -- about 80 miles from Sturgis. Closer by, the towns of Rapid City, Hill City, Keystone, Spearfish and Custer are especially busy during bike week. 960 1280

Pete Zarria, flickr  

Spearfish Canyon

Spearfish Canyon

Bikers cruise through Spearfish Canyon, a deep narrow gorge lined with ponderosa and spruce pine trees. The route comes with lots of curves, offering one of the best riding experiences in South Dakota’s Black Hills. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial

In 1929 a Lakota elder named Henry Standing Bear wrote a letter to a Polish-American sculptor (Korczak Ziolkowski) about creating a monument to honor Native American war hero Crazy Horse. Today, work on the “world’s largest mountain carving,” as the Crazy Horse Memorial is called, is still ongoing, about 17 miles from Mt. Rushmore. During bike week, 2 mountain blast-carvings will occur. 960 1280

Crazy Horse Memorial  

Broken Spoke Campground

Broken Spoke Campground

Pitch a tent at Broken Spoke, one of several campgrounds near Sturgis. The 600-acre grounds hold plenty of action during bike week: Activities include live musical performances (Uncle Kracker is among the headliners) and the first-ever Miss Broken Spoke Saloon beauty contest -- see contestants vie for a $5,000 cash prize … in bikinis. 960 1280

Broken Spoke Saloon  

Ride-Thru Saloon

Ride-Thru Saloon

Spanning 3,000 square feet, the Broken Spoke Saloon isn’t just made for walking. Here, bikers rev up for a ride-through the saloon. The enormous space features a tattoo shop, 2 retail shops, an art gallery, a VIP lounge, a mechanics shop, 5 bars and a huge performance stage. 960 1280

Broken Spoke Saloon  

The Tattoo Cellar

The Tattoo Cellar

You’ve got the chrome and the leather -- now what about the tattoo? Bikers swing by The Tattoo Cellar in Sturgis during bike week. Owner Richard Otten does everything from small color to Northwest tribal tattoos -- all with single-use needles only. 960 1280

Melissa Brings Plenty  

Devils Tower

Devils Tower

Another must-see attraction is Devils Tower, a rock formation that rises more than 1,200 feet above the surrounding terrain. From Sturgis, head west on 1-90 to cross the Wyoming border -- the scenic route includes views of rolling hills and rivers, pine forests, rock formations and bluffs, small towns, ranches and farmland. 960 1280

Scott Robinson, flickr  

The Wall That Heals

The Wall That Heals

This half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, was unveiled on Veteran’s Day in 1996. Since then, it has traveled to more than 350 towns and cities nationwide. Now comes Sturgis. For the third year in a row, the area’s Broken Spoke Campground will be home to The Wall That Heals during bike week. 960 1280

Broken Spoke Saloon   

Broken Spoke Cabin

Broken Spoke Cabin

You and 3 buddies can enjoy a bit more privacy in this 12-by-16-foot cabin. Located at Broken Spoke campground, the cabin comes furnished with an A/C, small fridge and microwave. Simply park your bike by the cabin and kick back. 960 1280

Broken Spoke Saloon  

Sturgis Stunts

Sturgis Stunts

A biker “pops a wheelie” at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. That’s just the beginning of the stunts on display. This year stunt rider Toby Baker will attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record’s title of “Longest Motorcycle Ride Through a Tunnel of Fire.” The fiery tunnel will exceed a distance of 230 feet -- and temperatures of 2,900 degrees. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

More Stunts!

More Stunts!

A professional biker performs a stunt jump. Among the venues to see the heart-stopping action is Buffalo Chip. The campground will host the stunt show “The Wall of Death,” in which bikers ride motorcycles on the wall of a large wooden barrel. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Hill City Rally

Hill City Rally

Hill City may be 55 miles from Sturgis but it still roars with motorcycles during bike week. Nearby attractions include Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park. The town is also near the center of the Black Hills, earning it the nickname “Heart of the Hills.” 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Sturgis Cooldown

Sturgis Cooldown

Temperatures can soar into the 90s and beyond during bike week. Here, Sturgis fans enjoy a cooldown in the pool at Broken Spoke. Prefer to sun your buns? Recline near the pool area’s tiki bar -- a bikini-clad waitress will take your order. 960 1280

Broken Spoke Saloon  

Iron Mountain Road

Iron Mountain Road

A biker winds through the southern part of the Black Hills on Iron Mountain Road. The 16-mile stretch of road is part of US Route 16A, which is famous for its “pigtail” bridges and scenic 1-lane tunnels that align to frame the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Custer State Park Buffalo

Custer State Park Buffalo

Buffalo roam free in Custer State Park, about 67 miles from Sturgis. The park is the largest in South Dakota, spanning 71,000 acres. Bikers visiting the park during the annual motorcycle rally can pay a flat fee of $10 for an extended pass to the park. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Buffalo Roundup

Buffalo Roundup

See the Old West come alive in one of America’s largest buffalo roundups -- more than 1,450 buffalo are rounded up in Custer State Park. They’re then sorted, branded and vaccinated for sale. This year’s roundup occurs Sept. 24. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Sturgis Rodeo

Sturgis Rodeo

There’s more than one way to get wild in Sturgis. This year also brought a regional rodeo event to the town. The June event attracted top cowboys and cowgirls on the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) circuit -- along with the fiercest bulls and broncs. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Camaro Rally

Camaro Rally

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally isn’t the only time to rev it up in town. An annual Camaro Rally, now in its third year (the next event is scheduled for June 27-30, 2013), attracts Camaro lovers from all over the country. Activities include poker runs to Mount Rushmore. 960 1280

Rita Herding  

Sturgis Mustang Rally

Sturgis Mustang Rally

Can’t get enough of Sturgis? Share the love at another big event coming to town: the fifth annual Sturgis Mustang Rally. The event bills itself as a tribute to first-generation Mustangs -- it runs Aug. 29-Sept. 2, 2012. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Buffalo Chip Fire-Breather

Buffalo Chip Fire-Breather

A fire-breather puts on a show at the Buffalo Chip. Additional campground shows during rally week include midget bowling (don’t ask), “lingerie for life” (see “one-of-a-kind” bras) and a skit by Cheryl the Hypnotist (audience members have imagined everything from being exotic dancers to, um, witnessing UFOs). 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Buffalo Chip Camping

Buffalo Chip Camping

It’s just you, the blue skies and your motorbike at the Buffalo Chip campground. Well, maybe, you should bring just a little bit more -- don’t forget to look over your motorcycle trip checklist. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

Bad boys head for the Badlands. About 90 miles from Sturgis, Badlands National Park spans 242,756 acres of eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires; it’s also home to the largest protected mixed-grass prairie in America. The Badlands are easy to reach from I-90. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism   

Vanocker Canyon Road

Vanocker Canyon Road

Another scenic ride is Vanocker Canyon Road. The road takes bikers to Nemo, a community in the heart of the Black Hills. You and your biker buds will find plenty of peace and quiet along the way. 960 1280

South Dakota Tourism  

Wild Bill Hickok Grave

Wild Bill Hickok Grave

Thought Sturgis was crazy? Explore the wild and crazy times of Wild Bill Hickok in the town of Deadwood. The folk hero of the American frontier met his end while playing poker in Deadwood back in August 1876; you’ll find his gravesite monument in town. 960 1280

Richard Elzey, flickr  

Sturgis Rally Concerts

Sturgis Rally Concerts

And when night falls, it’s time to … "rock and roll all nite"! Legendary acts like KISS have performed at the annual motorcycle rally. This year’s headliners include classic-rock favorites like Journey and Lynyrd Skynrd, as well as contemporary acts such as Zac Brown Band, Sugarland and Uncle Kracker. 960 1280

Broken Spoke Saloon   

black and white, water skiing, dynamic angle, young man
Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games (London)

Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games (London)

French athlete Renaud Lavillenie competes in the men’s pole vault during the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games, held at the Stadium in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 960 1280

Paul Gilham / Getty Images  

Harbin Ice Wonderland (Bangkok)

Harbin Ice Wonderland (Bangkok)

It’s a winter wonderland in Bangkok! A mother and child get ready to take a chilly but quick dash down a slide at Harbin Ice Wonderland, which provides many Thais with their first opportunity to visit a frozen, wintry landscape. 960 1280

Taylor Weidman / Getty Images  

Seepark (Niederweimar, Germany)

Seepark (Niederweimar, Germany)

It’s all about capturing the right moment at the right time. Wakeboarder Moritz Petri and kneeboarder Cedric Schmidt perform during a training session at Hot Sport Seepark in Niederweimar, Germany. 960 1280

Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images  

CONCACAF Gold Cup (Philadelphia)

CONCACAF Gold Cup (Philadelphia)

You can’t see him, but Mexican soccer player Andres Guardado is the one lifting the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Gold Cup trophy after Mexico beat Jamaica in the final at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. 960 1280

Matthew Ashton - AMA  

St. Annes Kite Festival (St. Annes-on-Sea, England)

St. Annes Kite Festival (St. Annes-on-Sea, England)

The sky becomes crowded as kite enthusiasts participate in the St. Annes Kite Festival on the seafront in northwest England. The festival features single-line kites of all shapes and sizes, including the world's largest teddy bear kite. 960 1280

OLI SCARFF / AFP / Getty Images  

Holi Festival (Moscow, Russia)

Holi Festival (Moscow, Russia)

Watch the rainbow fly as people throw colored powder during the Holi Festival in Moscow. The festival was first held in northern India by revelers throwing colorful powders onto one another to celebrate spring and ward off evil spirits. 960 1280

ALEXANDER UTKIN / AFP / Getty Images  

Giant Panda Birthday Party (Hong Kong)

Giant Panda Birthday Party (Hong Kong)

Someone celebrated a birthday! Giant panda Jia Jia chows down on a bamboo stick next to her cake, made of ice and fruit juice, to mark her 37th birthday at an amusement park in Hong Kong. It may not be considered a landmark birthday for humans, but turning 37 years old (about 100 in human years) made Jia Jia the oldest giant panda in captivity. 960 1280

PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP / Getty Images  

Sunflowers With a View (Nogi, Japan)

Sunflowers With a View (Nogi, Japan)

A boy rides on his father's shoulders through a field during a 3-day sunflower festival in the town of Nogi, about 43 miles north of Tokyo. A total of 200,000 sunflowers welcomed guests for the summer event. 960 1280

KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP / Getty Images  

Synchronized Diving (Kazan, Russia)

Synchronized Diving (Kazan, Russia)

At the 16th FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) World Championships, Suji Kim and Eunji Ko of South Korea warm up before the final of the women's 10-meter platform synchronized diving event at the Aquatics Palace in Kazan, Russia. 960 1280

Clive Rose / Getty Images  

T. Rex Scare (Jerusalem, Israel)

T. Rex Scare (Jerusalem, Israel)

A child walks past a towering replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex during a visit to the dinosaur exhibit at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. 960 1280

MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP / Getty Images  

Awe-Inspiring Alps (Crans-Montana, Switzerland)

Awe-Inspiring Alps (Crans-Montana, Switzerland)

A player putts with the Alps in the background during the second round of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. 960 1280

Stuart Franklin / Getty Images  

Sunset on Manly Beach (Sydney)

Sunset on Manly Beach (Sydney)

Take a gander at this photo of an undeniably beautiful sunset in Sydney as ocean paddlers train on surf skis at Manly Beach. 960 1280

Cameron Spencer / Getty Images  

Sydney Harbour Bridge Rainbow (Sydney)

Sydney Harbour Bridge Rainbow (Sydney)

It’s a magical moment Down Under. A man takes a photo of a rainbow over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 960 1280

Cameron Spencer / Getty Images  

Camels Walking (Dubai)

Camels Walking (Dubai)

Handlers walk their camels in the early morning in Dubai. 960 1280

Francois Nel / Getty Images  

Porthmeor Beach (St. Ives, England)

Porthmeor Beach (St. Ives, England)

Beachgoers enjoy the sunny weather at Porthmeor Beach in St. Ives, England. 960 1280

Matt Cardy / Getty Images  

Tapestry of Handmade Carpets (Antalya, Turkey)

Tapestry of Handmade Carpets (Antalya, Turkey)

These handmade carpets from different regions in Turkey are laid under the sun in Antalya to soften their colors and sanitize them. 960 1280

Mustafa Ciftici / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images  

Tour de France Photo Finish (Paris)

Tour de France Photo Finish (Paris)

In Paris, German cyclist Andre Greipel of the Lotto-Soudal team celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 21st (and final) stage of the 2015 Tour de France, a 68-mile stretch between Sevres and Paris’ Champs-Elysees. 960 1280

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images  

car on road, curve, mountains, ocean, daytime,
15-Day Cruise to Antarctica

15-Day Cruise to Antarctica

"Unlike my usual adventures jetting around the world, this time, I’d use the $10,000 to knock out the last continent I haven’t visited, Antarctica. The 15-day cruise will take me from Ushuaia, Argentina, across the Drake Passage to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. With several shore landings and a night camping, there’s no better way to experience this isolated landscape and its wildlife, with my camera in hand.” — Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Andrew Peacock / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Sightseeing Tour in Australia and New Zealand

Sightseeing Tour in Australia and New Zealand

"With a travel budget of $10,000, I would definitely take a trip Down Under. I want to see it all: the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney’s famous harbor and opera house, the beautiful beaches of Australia’s Gold Coast, the Lord of the Rings filming sites in New Zealand, the volcanoes of Auckland and the never-ending gorgeous scenery." — Hannah Prince, Digital Copy Editor 960 1280

Kokkai Ng / Moment / Getty Images  

Beer Tour in Germany

Beer Tour in Germany

“There is nothing more refreshing than a cold beer, and I’ve heard that Germany has some of the very best in the world. Beer plays a large part in the German culture, and in a country with more than 1,200 breweries, it’s easy to see why. From smaller, independent craft brews such as Riegele to the well-known German brands, including Beck’s, 1 thing is for sure: If you’re of legal drinking age, you’ll never go thirsty in Germany!” — Ben Breslerman, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Sean Gallup / Getty Images  

Italian Cooking School and Sailing Adventure in Thailand

Italian Cooking School and Sailing Adventure in Thailand

“Some of the most beautiful places in the world are also the best places to eat and soak up some rays. I love Italian food. One of my bucket-list items is to spend 1 month in Italy at a cooking school, preferably in Florence. After that, I’d board a flight to Thailand and sail through the gorgeous Phi Phi Islands, where I plan to sunbathe, nap and eat amazing Thai food for at least 2 weeks.” — Rani Robinson, Director 960 1280

Ingolf Pompe / LOOK / Getty Images  

Romantic Hawaiian Island Getaway

Romantic Hawaiian Island Getaway

“I would use $10,000 to take a flight with my husband to the Hawaiian Islands. We would sink our toes into the exotic red- and black-sand beaches and drive along the scenic Road to Hana, making stops all along the way to see the beautiful waterfalls and dramatic views.” — Kristen Kochanski, Photo Editor 960 1280

Royce Bair / Moment / Getty Images  

Cultural Immersion in Beautiful Brazil

Cultural Immersion in Beautiful Brazil

After spending almost 3 weeks in Brazil, I would have no qualms about using my $10,000 in this culturally diverse country with some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The ultimate trip would be soaking in the sun on a nude beach (Praia Mole) in Florianopolis; experiencing Carnival for the first time in Rio de Janeiro; eating delicious Brazilian moqueca and buying local art in Salvador; and dancing until the wee hours of the morning at the Week, a club in Sao Paulo. And a tour of the country wouldn’t be complete without an Amazon excursion to hike the rain forest and experience life with an indigenous family.”  — Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer 960 1280

Kwin Mosby  

Spectacular Spain Trip

Spectacular Spain Trip

“With $10,000, I would pack my things and head straight to Spain. Starting in Madrid, I would dive right in and experience the cultural centers, hitting the markets and cafes in Plaza Mayor and maybe even a Real Madrid soccer game — if I could swing a ticket. (That’s likely where the $10K would come in handy!) After Madrid, I would hop a train to Barcelona and check out the coast. And while the history and scenery of Spain is enough for any traveler, this whole trip would really be an excuse to gorge on the amazing food and drink that the country has to offer!” — Matt Dewhurst, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Southern Asia Trek

Southern Asia Trek

"A budgetista when it comes to travel, I can't even imagine how far a budget of $10,000 would take me! Instead of going the luxe route, I'd use this ample amount of cash to fund a long trip — perhaps a grand tour of less-than-easy places to get to in southern Asia. I’d love to see the happiest people on in Earth in Bhutan, tour the temples in Nepal, go tea-house trekking in Sri Lanka — and just keep on travelin’ until the money runs out." — Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer 960 1280

iStock  

First-Class Flight to Dubai

First-Class Flight to Dubai

"Fly first-class to Dubai! Ten thousand dollars will get you a round-trip first-class ticket from New York to Dubai. Just remember: When traveling to a city that uses Lamborghinis for police cars, it’s important to arrive in style."  — Josh Levin, Digital Operations Manager  960 1280

Alan64 / iStock / Getty Images  

Golf at St. Andrews Links

Golf at St. Andrews Links

"With $10,000, I would take 3 of my best friends to Scotland for the ultimate golf adventure. After arriving in the “Home of Golf,” we’d hit St. Andrews Links for not 1, but 2 incredibly tough rounds of golf. On Day 1, we’d play the famed Old Course. Then, on Day 2, we'd see how it compares to St. Andrews' New Course (although I should mention, the “New Course” was designed in 1894 by Old Tom Morris)." — Ben Breslerman, Interactive Producer  960 1280

Digital Echos / iStock / Getty Images  

Whirlwind Tour Around the World

Whirlwind Tour Around the World

"As a mileage runner and rock climber, I’d fly around the world. First, stops in Paris and Cape Town, South Africa, for bouldering in Fontainebleau and Rocklands, respectively. Then, I'd continue on to Tokyo for some sashimi, with a final stop in Buenos Aires, just because I’ve never been there. Besides the fun, this trip would earn me 47,000 elite qualifying miles, which will help me maintain my Delta elite flier status." — Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Getty Images  

Amazing Amalfi Coast Getaway

Amazing Amalfi Coast Getaway

"I would probably make my $10,000 last as long as possible and save most of it. However, I’d throw some caution to the wind and splurge a little on a fun getaway to Italy’s Amalfi Coast or Spain to explore the Canary Islands, Ibiza, Costa del Sol and Seville." — Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Great Greek Adventure

Great Greek Adventure

"I’d take that $10,000 and hop on the next flight to Greece, where I’d charter a yacht and sail the Aegean. I’m not talking a big, hulking cruise ship with subpar onboard meals and a set itinerary. My Greek adventure would include a gorgeous sailboat and a personal skipper, who’d chart an off-the-beaten-path course. I’d spend my days admiring the crystal-clear waters, exploring ancient ruins and dining on fresh seafood. Oh, and drinking plenty of ouzo." — Allee Sangiolo, Video Producer 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Scotland Road Trip

Scotland Road Trip

"I'm currently planning a spring trip to Scotland, so $10,000 would come in handy! I'd rent a car and explore the arts and culture hub of Glasgow and historic Edinburgh. Then, I'd head north to Inverness, the Castle Trail and the Highlands. Or I'd stay in a castle in Stirling, and then charter a boat to see the Inner and Outer Hebrides, including Skye (which has beautiful craggy mountains) and Islay (which is famous for malt whiskey distillation).  Actually, I could do it ALL for $10,000, and still have change to spare." — Liz Fraser, Photo Editor 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Tuscany Bike Tour

Tuscany Bike Tour

"I'd spend my $10,000 on la dolce vita! I'd book the first flight to Firenze, where I'd indulge in Italian food, culture and fashion. I would attend Cucina con Vista, where I'd attempt to learn how to cook from chef Elena Mattei, and then pedal it off on a Backroads bike tour of Tuscany, drinking in the Renaissance architecture, scenic olive orchards and private wine tastings." — Sara Gilliam, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Getty Images  

Italy's Wine Country

Italy's Wine Country

"I'd use the $10,000 to travel through Italy’s wine country. I would sip my way through the vineyards in Tuscany and eat authentic Italian food until my heart’s content. The money would also give me the opportunity to see where some of my family originated from and to experience Italian culture at its best." — Kristen Kochanski, Photo Editor 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Jao Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Jao Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

"With $10,000, I would take my husband home. Ha! Seriously, he was born in Uganda, and he hasn’t been back since he was 2 years old. We’d travel around the country and also visit Rwanda (where his mother was born) and Botswana, where we’d experience the ultimate sleepover at Jao Camp in the Okavango Delta." — Rani Robinson, Director 960 1280

Wilderness Safaris  

Lake Matheson, Mount Cook, New Zealand
Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks

Anderson Hollow Cove at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri is a haven for both spring breakers and summer revelers alike. More popularly known as “Party Cove,” it’s considered the oldest established permanent floating bacchanal in the country. 960 1280

Chris Oberholtz/Kansas City Star/MCT/Getty Images  

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes

A footbridge hangs over the blue-green waters of Plitvice Lakes in Croatia hidden by thick vegetation and connected by hundreds of waterfalls. The largest national park in Croatia, it attracts over a million visitors each year. 960 1280

Kelly Cheng Travel Photography/Moment/Getty Images  

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy in the French Alps is a popular destination for tourists. Enjoy water sports before refueling at lakeside restaurants and bars. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/DMP1  

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is situated in the Guatemalan highlands at the foot of 3 volcanoes including the San Pedro volcano pictured above. 960 1280

  

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Wizard Island sits in Oregon's Crater Lake, which was formed by the collapse of a volcano. Not only is this the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet, but it's also famous for its deep blue color and crystal-clear waters. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/James Cross  

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Hikers take in the sunset over Loch Lomond, Scotland, which is dotted with islands and medieval castles.
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iStockphoto.com/Josefkubes  

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson in South Island, New Zealand, is also known as mirror lake for its reflected vies of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.
960 1280

Rob Suisted  

Lake Garda

Lake Garda

Windsurfers ride Lake Garda, one of Italy's most popular vacation spots, featuring resort towns, hot springs and terra-cotta-roofed hotels.
960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Thomas Quack  

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu, on the border between Arizona and California, brings in 3.5 million visitors a year, and, thanks to its floating party scene, it's a major spring break destination for coeds.
960 1280

iStockphoto.com/MCCAIG  

Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru

Don't go diving into the picturesque waters of Lake Nakuru in Kenya -- the mass of pink flamingos are one of the few species that can stand the hostile conditions. Visitors can spot up to a million birds wading side by side as well as baboons and black-and-white rhinos. 
960 1280

Elosoenpersona Photo/Moment/Getty Images  

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

View from the Icefields Parkway's highest Lookout Point over Peyto Lake in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier-fed lake has a bright, turquoise color. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Missing35mm  

Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake

View of the clear waters and sandy beaches of Crystal Lake from the town of Beulah, MI. 960 1280

Panoramic Images/Getty Images  

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