The City of Lights

The City of Lights

I proposed to my girlfriend in Paris last year, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Yet, I found myself sweating uncontrollably for three months prior, mainly because I had no idea where in Paris I was going to do it. So, a week before the trip, I researched these 21 locations. Some we never got to, weren't right for us or simply wouldn't cooperate. Thankfully, one ultimately did. I hope one works for you, too. Bonne chance. 960 1280

MundusImages  

The Top of the Eiffel Tower

The Top of the Eiffel Tower

Let’s begin with the obvious. Here’s the thing about proposing at the top of the Eiffel Tower: Yes, you can drink champagne up there and the view is amazing, but there’s also a good chance that, while you’re down on one knee, delivering the speech of your life, some tourist will cripple you with a selfie stick. My advice? Propose in the middle where there’s more room and the views are still amazing. Also, go at sunset.  960 1280

Marc Trigalou  

The Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens

The Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens

This was one of the many places I’d hoped to propose to my girlfriend. It’s beautiful, tranquil and secluded, which can be difficult to find in Paris during the high season. Yet, as we approached it, we found it completely fenced off due to winter renovations. Moral of the story: it’s a great place to propose from April to September. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel  

The Rooftop of the Terrass Hotel

The Rooftop of the Terrass Hotel

My now fiancée and I ate here about an hour before we got engaged and it was one of the best views of Paris we had the entire trip. If you've always dreamed of putting the ring in a glass of champagne, this rooftop bar is for you. 960 1280

  

Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

Unlike the Pont des Arts, the Place des Vosges is relatively easy to pronounce, and one you’ll enjoy saying again and again. Finished in 1612, it is the oldest planned square in Paris. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel  

The Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde

The Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde

It’s a Ferris wheel in the middle of Paris. What else could you want? Fried dough and powdered sugar? Because, yes, that’s what I want, too. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel  

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Aside from it being stunning – I mean, look at it; it looks like something out of Game of Thrones – it would just be really fun to propose here due to the name. 960 1280

castellelisa  

The Louvre Pyramid

The Louvre Pyramid

One of the most iconic spots in Paris, the Louvre Pyramid would make a great proposal spot if your significant other is an art lover. 960 1280

Christophe Lehenaff  

Shakespeare & Co.

Shakespeare & Co.

Shakespeare & Co. is a small bookstore in the Latin Quarter where Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and other 20th century literary icons hung out. Bottom line: This is for the book lover in your life. 960 1280

Cultura RM Exclusive/UBACH/DE LA RIVA  

In a Cafe

In a Cafe

There’s just something so romantic about Parisian cafes, especially if your loved one loves coffee. Check out Le Petit Marcel, Le Pure Café and Le Bistrot du Peintre – all charming cafes that’d make great spots to pop the question. 960 1280

Danita Delimont  

From Behind the Clock in the Musée d’Orsay

From Behind the Clock in the Musée d’Orsay

If you’ve been dating your significant other for a long time, there’s a good chance they’ve told you, “The clock is ticking,” or some other variation upon the theme. Thus, what better way to propose to this person than by walking up to a giant clock, letting them deliver this line once again, then responding, “Oh yeah?” 960 1280

Hiob  

The Pont des Artes

The Pont des Artes

Unless you’re French, you should resign to the fact that you’ll never pronounce this correctly. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful bridge with a beautiful view, and you should totally get engaged there. 960 1280

John Humble  

On the Champs Élysées, Beneath the Holiday Lights

On the Champs Élysées, Beneath the Holiday Lights

Most likely if you’re dating a fashionista, they’ve been talking about shopping on the Champs Élysees for months, now. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada – it will be a terrifying exercise in fiscal responsibility. But during the holidays, beneath the twinkling lights on the trees, it’s also a great place to propose.  960 1280

JTB Photo  

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe

You spent thousands of dollars on the ring. You spent thousands of dollars to get to Europe. You convinced someone to date you long enough that it wouldn’t be crazy to ask them to marry you. This is a triumphant moment, so where better to ask the big question than at the Arc de Triomphe? 960 1280

Julian Elliott Photography  

In Front of Notre Dame

In Front of Notre Dame

If you’re anything like me, you still can’t get enough of the DeBeers “A diamond is forever” commercial where the guy scares away an entire flock of pigeons when, seemingly to no one, he shouts, “I love this woman!” While it seems this took place in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, you can basically find the same atmosphere in Paris in front of Notre Dame. Just be vigilant for pickpockets. 960 1280

Matteo Colombo  

The Champs de Mars at Midnight

The Champs de Mars at Midnight

The Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour on the hour for five minutes. The Champ de Mars is lovely to stroll after the crowds have subsided, so take your loved one there and wait for midnight. 960 1280

MilosJokic  

The Versailles Orangerie

The Versailles Orangerie

Versailles, as a general rule of thumb, is a madhouse during the high season. But thankfully there are acres of gardens in which to spread out. My suggestion? The Versailles Orangerie. 960 1280

? Philippe LEJEANVRE  

Château de Rambouillet

Château de Rambouillet

If images of the French Revolution ruin the romance of Versailles for you, but you still want that bourgeois vibe, Château de Rambouillet is your ticket. Located 30 miles outside the city, it is still the summer residence of the president of France. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet  

The Trocadéro

The Trocadéro

It doesn’t get more Paris than this with views overlooking the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. Pro tip: Go at sunrise and hire a photographer to capture the entire thing. 960 1280

Tony Burns  

The Square du Vert-Galant

The Square du Vert-Galant

If you jump off the Pont des Arts and swim a few hundred yards west, you’ll wash up on a small park on the Pont Neuf. I personally have not stepped foot on this little bit of paradise, but I can tell you it’s beautiful. 960 1280

VvoeVale  

The Wall of Love

The Wall of Love

Located in perhaps the loveliest part of the City of Lights (Monmartre) is a wall dedicated entirely to the notion of love. Aptly titled “The Wall of Love,” it features 612 tiles made from enameled lava with the phrase “I love you” written across them in 250 different languages. Your mission is to learn how to pronounce all of them. 960 1280

banarfilardhi  

On the Steps of the Sacre Coeur

On the Steps of the Sacre Coeur

After many failed attempts, this is where I eventually popped the question. It was late in the evening, raining lightly, and we had the entire square to ourselves. Overlooking the city, I felt the ring in my pocket and turned to her. “So,” I said, trying to remember the speech I’d planned. “What do you say we... take our relationship to the next level?” And this is the power of Paris: She still said yes.  960 1280

Shaun Dodds  

Propose in Paris  22 Photos

cuba, why we love cuba, culture, arts, history, cars
Car Culture

Car Culture

We love the brightly-colored houses and vintage American cars that travel along the streets of Old Havana. 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Getty Images  

Cuban Cigars

Cuban Cigars

Despite American trade sanctions against Cuban products, cigars remain one of the country's leading exports. The country exported 77 million cigars in the early 1990s. 960 1280

Mastrafoto / CON / Getty Images  

Salsa Dancing and More

Salsa Dancing and More

We love to salsa, a dance form with Cuban origins that combines European Spanish and African cultures. Cubans love to move. Rumba, zapateo and bolero are  a few other popular dance forms in Cuba. 960 1280

tunart / Getty Images  

Viñales Valley

Viñales Valley

We love the natural tourist attractions in Cuba, including Viñales Valley (pictured above), where tobacco and other crops are cultivated on the bottom of the valley. Viñales is also a major tourist destination for hikers and rock climbers. 960 1280

Walter Bibikow / AWL Images / Getty Images  

Valle de los Ingenios

Valle de los Ingenios

We love Cuba for its rich history, including this old tower once used to watch slaves standing in the Valle de los Ingenios (sugar mills), located in Trinidad, Cuba. 960 1280

Education Images / Getty Images  

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is a traditional Cuban meal. Ingredients include rice, beer, stock, sofrito (a mix of vegetables and fresh herbs), chicken and saffron. 960 1280

Paul_Brighton / Getty Images  

Havana Carnival Parade

Havana Carnival Parade

We enjoy watching the folk dance group 'La Jardinera' perform during the Havana Carnival parade. The Cuban carnival has Afro-Caribbean origins and starts at the end of July and runs through mid-August. Other popular Cuban festivals include Anfoa Magic Festival, International Festival of New Latin Cinema and Festival del Caribe. 960 1280

Rachel Lewis / Getty Images  

Fried Sweet Plantains

Fried Sweet Plantains

Looking for a traditional Cuban meal? Try fried sweet plantains with black beans and rice. It's a staple and tasty meal for most Cubans. 960 1280

Lisa F. Young / Getty Images  

Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club

We're inspired by the Buena Vista Social Club, a club that showcased diverse music, musicians, performers and singers. Cuban diva Omara Portuondo (pictured) is a surviving star of the popular 1940s club. 960 1280

Education Images / Getty Images  

Beautiful Beaches

Beautiful Beaches

Cuba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including Playa Guardalavaca (pictured above), Playa Paraiso, Playa Sirena, Playa Ancon, Cayo Sabinal, Playa Ensenchachos and Playa Megano. 960 1280

Ingolf Pompe / LOOK-foto / Getty Images  

Baseball

Baseball

Baseball is perhaps the most popular pastime in Cuba, introduced to the country in the 1960s. Everywhere you go, including Old Havana (pictured above) you can find kids of all ages in the streets playing baseball. According to the International Baseball Federation, the Cuban national team is currently the 5th ranked team in the world. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images  

Cuban Celebrities

Cuban Celebrities

We love popular Cuban and Cuban-American celebrities, including singer Gloria Estefan (pictured), actor Andy Garcia (pictured), TV personality Daisy Fuentes, rapper Pitbull and comedian Faizon Love. 960 1280

Mathew Imaging / Getty Images  

Rum, Rum and More Rum

Rum, Rum and More Rum

We admire Cubans' love for 'spirits,' including the different types of Cuban rums made by Havana Club, a Cuban rum distillery. 960 1280

Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images  

Malecón Roadway and Seawall

Malecón Roadway and Seawall

We love how Cuba's famous Malecón roadway and seawall has become a popular social destination for friends and family, including kids who cool off in the heat of summer by taking a dive into the sea. 960 1280

Bob Krist / Getty Images  

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

We love the taste of a Cuban sandwich, made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami -- all stacked between two pieces of Cuban bread. 960 1280

Juanmonino / Getty Images  

Mojitos

Mojitos

A mojito is a traditional Cuban cocktail that consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and spearmint or yerba buena, a type of mint that's popular on the island. 960 1280

Adam Jones / Getty Images  

Why We Love Cuba  16 Photos

mexico city, mexico, travel, tourism, skyline
Mexico City Skyline

Mexico City Skyline

Mexico City’s skyline sits nestled in a valley surrounded by one of Mexico’s three Sierra Madre mountain ranges. 960 1280

andres balcazar / Getty Images  

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Take a tour of this extravagant, neoclassical structure right in the heart of downtown. The Palacio de Bellas Artes is Mexico City’s main opera house. 960 1280

Osmany Torres Martín / Getty Images  

Column of Independence

Column of Independence

Located in downtown Mexico City, the Column of Independence was constructed to commemorate the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence. The statues at the bottom of the column symbolize law, war, justice and peace. 960 1280

g01xm / Getty Images  

Teotihuacan Ruins

Teotihuacan Ruins

Tourists stroll down the Avenue of the Dead to explore the Teotihuacan ancient ruins outside of Mexico City. You can get a great bird’s-eye view of the ruins from the Pyramid of the Moon (seen off in the distance). 960 1280

g01xm / Getty Images  

Fuente de Petroleos

Fuente de Petroleos

This beautiful fountain, situated in central Mexico City by Avenue Reforma and Periferico, commemorates the 75th anniversary of Mexico's national expropriation of all resources from petroleum. 960 1280

fitopardo.com / Getty Images  

Xochimilco Canals

Xochimilco Canals

One of the most unique cultural aspects of Mexico City are their boat rides along the Xochimilco canals. Tourists can set sail down the canals with rented boats filled with local food and musicians. 960 1280

Glow Images / Getty Images  

Chapultepec Castle

Chapultepec Castle

Located in Chapultepec Park, this gorgeous castle and the statues on its grounds, are now known as the National Museum of History (Museo Nacional de Historia) in Mexico City. 960 1280

g01xm / Getty Images  

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

There is definitely no shortage of history in Mexico City. The Metropolitan Cathedral is not only the largest one of its kind in the Americas, it’s also the oldest. 960 1280

stockcam / Getty Images  

fall, family, staycation, fun, national park, state park, hiking
Hiking in a Local Park

Hiking in a Local Park

There’s no better way to see America than through the eyes of our national and state parks. Even the youngest family members can set off on a family-friendly hike at a local park.
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Jack Affleck / Getty Images  

Pumkpin Picking Perfection

Pumkpin Picking Perfection

You know fall is in full swing when Halloween season comes around. Head to a local pumpkin patch to pick out a winner, perfect for decorating and carving. 960 1280

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images  

State Fairs and Amusement Parks

State Fairs and Amusement Parks

The season for state fairs continues well into fall. Grab the kids and head out to a fairground near you for family fun. You can also head to a nearby amusement park for one more spin on the Ferris wheel. 960 1280

Lumigraphics / Getty Images  

Museum Madness

Museum Madness

Check out family programs at local museums for a day of culture and fun. Cool exhibits expose kids to culture, art, history and science outside of the classroom. 960 1280

Corbis / VCG / Getty Images  

Sports, Sports and More Sports

Sports, Sports and More Sports

As they say, "the family that plays together, stays together." Set up a day of family yard games or head to a local stadium to take in one of your hometown’s professional sports teams. 960 1280

Jason Lugo / Getty Images  

Apple Picking Adventure

Apple Picking Adventure

Bring the family together with an apple-picking excursion at a local orchard. Fill up a bushel of crunchy, ripe apples perfect for apple pie or homemade applesauce. 960 1280

ericmichaud / Getty Images  

Animal Adventure at the Zoo

Animal Adventure at the Zoo

Head to the nearest zoo for an amazing animal adventure. An African safari may be out of the budget (and out of your zip code), but you can get close to extra-large animals at a local zoo. 960 1280

Christopher Allan / Getty Images  

Camping Under the Stars

Camping Under the Stars

Enjoy a night in the great outdoors, camping under the stars in your own backyard or a local park. But if you can’t escape the light pollution of the city, head to a local planetarium or observatory to get a glimpse at the universe. 960 1280

Aleksandar Nakic / Getty Images  

Wet and Wild Water Play

Wet and Wild Water Play

Don’t pack away that swimsuit just yet, there is still more splashing and fun to be had. Visit an indoor water park or hotel pool for some wet and wild adventures. 960 1280

Aleksander Rubtsov / Getty Images  

An illuminated Christmas tree is seen in front of the National Stadium
Beijing

Beijing

An illuminated Christmas tree is seen in front of the National Stadium to celebrate Christmas Eve in Beijing. Christmas is not a public holiday in China, but it is celebrated across the country as Western traditions have become increasingly popular. 960 1280

Getty  

Brussels

Brussels

Christmas lights illuminate La Grand-Place in Brussels. Children in Belgium have 2 Christmas visitors. On Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day, Saint Nicholas (St. Niklaas, if you are Flemish) brings presents. Then, on Christmas Day, Santa Claus delivers additional gifts. 960 1280

Mark Renders, Getty  

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

The Christmas holiday falls during Australia's summer it is popular to go camping during this time. Natives decorate their homes with trees and lights, but also display bunches of "Christmas Bush," a native Australian tree with small green leaves and cream-colored flowers that turn red in summer. In each state capital, there is a "Carols by Candlelight" service where famous performers sing holiday favorites. 960 1280

Jeremy Ng, Getty  

Belarus

Belarus

Performers sing Christmas carols, locally known as "kolyadki," in the Belarussian village of Semezhevo, about 100 miles south-west of Minsk. Many Orthodox Belarusians mark the New Year according to the Julian calendar.  960 1280

Viktor Drachev, AFP/Getty  

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Christmas angels and Santa Claus ride on Segways in Berlin. In Germany, Advent calendars are a big part of the holiday celebration. Several types are used, including 2 made from fir tree branches. One has 24 decorated boxes hanging from it while the other features 4 candles. 960 1280

Wolfgang Kumm, Getty  

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa, Canada

The Rideau Canal Waterway in Ottawa, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is lit up for the holidays. There are many Christmas traditions in Canada due to the various cultural backgrounds in the country. Some open gifts on Christmas Eve and others wait till Christmas Day. Other types of celebrations include a "Taffy Pull" (a party for singles to meet) and "Sinck Tuck" (dancing and gift exchanges). 960 1280

John Talbot, flickr  

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fireworks explode near a traditional Rio de Janeiro Christmas tree during the official lighting ceremony at Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. In Brazil, Santa Claus is called Papai Noel. Favorite holiday foods include chicken, turkey, ham, rice, pork, and fresh and dried fruits. 960 1280

Bruno Domingos, Reuters  

Panama

Panama

Panamanian dancers celebrate the Christmas holiday season wearing traditional clothes called polleras in Panama City. Polleras originate from the Azuero Peninsula in central Panama. 960 1280

Reuters  

Mexico

Mexico

An actor performs on the streets during the "Three Kings Day" festival in Mexico City. "Three Kings Day" is a Christian holiday in Mexico that celebrates the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the baby Christ. 960 1280

Henry Romero, Reuters  

London

London

Christmas traditions in the UK are much like the US. Christmas trees, holly and mistletoe are used as decorations. One difference: instead of milk and cookies, the children in London often leave mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas. 960 1280

Reuters  

Italy

Italy

The Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, adorned with Christmas lights, is pictured in downtown Milan. One of the biggest ways to celebrate the holiday in Italy is by displaying the Nativity crib scene. Many families display the cribs in their homes and place a baby Jesus in it on the night of Dec. 24. 960 1280

Alessandro Garofalo, Reuters  

Russia

Russia

People dressed as Father Frost, the equivalent of Santa Claus, and Snow Maiden greet passers-by during a New Year's parade in Bishkek, Russia. In Russia, New Year's celebrations are very important (sometimes more than Christmas). Father Frost brings presents to children. The traditional greeting on New Year's is "S Novym Godom." 960 1280

Vladimir Pirogov, Reuters  

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach, Australia

Australia's world famous Bondi Beach hosts the annual Sunburnt Christmas Festival on Christmas Day. About 4000 partygoers celebrate a summertime Christmas on the beach with DJs, bikini contests and an Aussie BBQ lunch. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Finland

Finland

Rovaniemi, Finland is proud to be the official home of Santa Claus. Visit the Santa Claus Village in Lapland anytime of the year to meet Father Christmas and cross the magical Arctic Circle. After you meet Santa, take a sleigh ride with traditional Sami reindeer and learn more about Lapland’s native people. 960 1280

Tarja Mitrovic, flickr  

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Christmas in Reykjavik is a magical time with its winter landscape and unique traditions. Visit the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjordur or Reykjavik's main Christmas Market in Ingolfstorg Square for unique holiday gifts and Yuletide music. And for children, there are not just one, but 13 Santas, or Yule Lads, bearing gifts.  960 1280

Visit Reykjavik  

Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg, Germany

One of the most impressive Christmas markets in Europe can be found in Nuremberg, Germany. The sprawling market in the city's Old Quarter has more than 200 vendors that sell seasonal and traditional goods, like mulled wine and handmade ornaments. And a wooden Ferris wheel, carousel and steam train create a winter wonderland for children. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

blue ridge parkway, road trips, fall, foliage, virginia
Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

A meandering 469 miles across North Carolina and Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is an American favorite made even more spectacular by a breathtaking display of fall colors. It's home to Mother Nature's longest-lasting show of fall foliage, and with thousands of feet in elevation, there are no shortage of scenic overlooks. 960 1280

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Worried you'll miss the leaves? Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain change color in early October while areas like Chimney Rock hold out until early November. 960 1280

Tim Fitzharris, Getty Images  

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

The Mitten's Gold Coast gets most of the attention when people talk about fall colors, but the somewhat untamed beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula shines in the fall as well. This short 5-hour loop leaving from Newberry, MI packs in everything you could want in a fall color tour… Trees, beers, and even bears. 960 1280

nameinfame, Getty Images  

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

Snap some pictures at the Crisp Point Lighthouse, Tahquamenon Falls State Park (pictured above) and Michigan's only historic cranberry bog, the Centennial Cranberry Farm. 960 1280

Danita Delimont, Getty Images  

Columbia River Highway

Columbia River Highway

America's oldest scenic highway traverses the cliffs of Oregon for 75 miles of some of the best views this grand old land has to offer. Constructed in the early 1900’s to give travellers up-front-and-personal access to Mother Nature in all of her glory, Columbia River Highway boasts the title of America's first scenic highway and dons its fall hues in mid-October, when its signature cottonwood, ash, and maple trees begin to turn. 960 1280

Bob Pool/Getty Images  

Columbia River Highway

Columbia River Highway

Starting just east of Portland, the drive is also home to several waterfalls including Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Fall. 960 1280

David Cobb/Visuals Unlimited, Inc., Getty Images  

Mid Mitten State

Mid Mitten State

The middle of October is the best time to check out the leaves in the middle of Michigan! Grab some pumpkins and apples at a farm, snap a few perfect photos at a covered bridge (may we suggest Fallasburg Covered Bridge, Pioneer Village & School?) 960 1280

JOHN_McCORMICK/Michigannut, Getty Images  

Mid Mitten State

Mid Mitten State

Take a walk through one of the gorgeous parks along this route that loops around central Michigan -- seriously, it doesn't get more autumn-y than that! See our trip itinerary here. 960 1280

Dean Pennala, Getty Images  

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Winding through the southern Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway follows the rivers that brought Native Americans between the Connecticut and the Hudson River valleys. At just 35 miles, this foliage drive is perfect for slowing down and taking it all in. 960 1280

DenisTangneyJr, Getty Images  

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Drive this stretch of New England, straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting before the cold sets in and witness the landscape’s change from summer's green to autumn's golds, reds, and scarlets. If you prefer some time outside the car, this route stretches alongside a chunk of the Appalachian Trail. 960 1280

DenisTangneyJr, Getty Images  

The Rugged and Wandering

The Rugged and Wandering

For the hardcore leaf peepers among us, there’s no better place to take your jeep to experience the changing foliage than Montana. Montana’s backcountry offers the ultimate scenes of America's rugged beauty. See the trip itinerary here. 960 1280

Danita Delimont, Getty Images  

The Rugged and Wandering

The Rugged and Wandering

Take the road less traveled on the Big Sky Backcountry Scenic Byway of Montana or cross the Continental Divide stopping at vistas on Going-to-the-Sun Road. 960 1280

Alan Majchrowicz, Getty Images  

Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

There's a region in Southwestern Wisconsin that the glaciers never touched, deemed the "Driftless region." Stop along the way in Spring Green, Wisconsin and grab a book and coffee before you tour Wright’s school, Taliesin. 960 1280

Matt Anderson Photography, Getty Images  

Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

Beyond the beautiful tree-lined roads found on scenic autumn drives, a drive from Madison, WI up to La Crosse, WI through the Driftless is chock full of fall harvest stands and believe it or not … Frank Lloyd Wright iconic architecture. 960 1280

UniversalImagesGroup, Getty Images  

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

The Skyline Drive is a 105-mile National Scenic Byway that twists and winds through the over 200,000 pristine acres that makes up Shenandoah National Park. 960 1280

Oscar Gutierrez/OGphoto, Getty Images  

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, namely the park's Skyline Drive, is one of the nation's premier fall RV trips for people who want to see fall foliage. In addition to the stunning scenery, Shenandoah offers plenty of other outdoor activities as well. 960 1280

Louise A. Heusinkveld, Getty Images  

Start Planning

Seaside, South Walton, FL

Seaside, South Walton, FL

With turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and 16 charming beach neighborhoods, it’s hard to pick just one best beach for kids in South Walton, but time and again, families flock to Seaside on Florida’s northwest coast. Enjoy biking and stand-up paddleboarding before heading to Airstream Row for food trucks serving up everything from grilled cheese to homemade custard.  960 1280

Shuvabrata Deb  

Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, HI

Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, HI

A favorite beach for many on Oahu, Kailua Beach Park boasts turquoise blue waters, plenty of free parking and lots of family-friendly water activities, like kayaking and boogie boarding. Kids will love watching the kite surfers, maybe even more than a trip to Island Snow for shave ice. Kalapawai Market is located at the park entrance, so pick up some deli sandwiches for an afternoon picnic on the beach. 

 

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Laszlo Podor Photography  

Agios Georgios Beach, Naxos, Greece

Agios Georgios Beach, Naxos, Greece

Many of the beaches in Naxos boast warm waters that are gentle and shallow, particularly those on the southwest coast of the island, making them ideal for families with small children. One of the best is Agios Georgios Beach. Eat breakfast at one of the cafés on the beach for fantastic views of the bay. The beach is also an easy walk to Hora, the island’s colorful capital city.  960 1280

Danita Delimont  

St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, FL

St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, FL

For white sandy beaches and calm, clear waters, St. Pete Beach is a must for families. Grab your fishing poles and sleeping bags for a camp-out right on the beach at Fort De Soto Park. Bike along a 7-mile paved trail, kayak or canoe through mangrove forests and take time to explore the historic fort. You can even take your furry pal to a dog park called Paw Playground.  960 1280

mariakraynova  

Maho Bay Beach, St. John

Maho Bay Beach, St. John

Situated on the north shore of St. John, the calm waters make Maho Bay Beach the ideal spot for learning to stand-up paddleboard as a family. It’s also one of the best places on the island to see sea turtles, particularly on the west side of the bay where snorkelers can watch turtles and rays munching on the sea grasses. For hiking, try the Cinnamon Bay Nature Trail.  960 1280

Christian Wheatley  

St. Augustine Beach, St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine Beach, St. Augustine, FL

For wide beaches, a 4-acre beachfront park and plenty of space to play, even with your dog, head to St. Augustine Beach in St. Augustine. Walk along the shores where Spanish explorers landed so many years ago, then let the kids go wild at the splash park on the pier. Spend time at nearby Anastasia State Park where you can bike on the beach and paddle in a saltwater lagoon.    960 1280

Danita Delimont  

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Kids can play on the white sandy beach by day and make s’mores around a bonfire by night at Carmel Beach. Pet lovers will love this dog-friendly (and leash-free) beach, so bring a tennis ball or two to make a few new furry friends. Take the free trolley into town for cheese blintzes at the Little Swiss Café or ride out to Monterey for an afternoon at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  960 1280

Elfi Kluck  

Menemsha Beach, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Menemsha Beach, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Martha’s Vineyard is widely touted as one of the loveliest parts of New England, though kids may love the area more for its beaches than its beauty. Try Menemsha Beach, a popular pick for families in search of gentle surf, fantastic sunsets and one of the best clam shacks on the island. Crowds at The Bite line up early, so keep this in mind if you’re thinking about a beach picnic.  960 1280

Jihan Abdalla  

Coligny Beach, Hilton Head, SC

Coligny Beach, Hilton Head, SC

For families who want to be active from morning until night, head to Hilton Head for kayaking, tennis, crabbing, stand-up paddleboarding, and of course, splashing in the waves at Coligny Beach. Rent bikes at Hilton Head Outfitters in Palmetto Dunes. It’s the best way to explore the island. Go on a boat cruise with Pirates of Hilton Head or fly through the sky at Zipline Hilton Head.  960 1280

Pam McLean  

Short Sands Beach, York, ME

Short Sands Beach, York, ME

One of several popular beaches in York, Short Sands Beach has sand, surf, a playground, and even an arcade. Have a picnic at Ellis Park then spend the afternoon at York’s Wild Kingdom, the largest zoo and amusement park in Maine. Take the trolley to Long Sands Beach for views of the Cape Leddick Lighthouse before heading to the “Surfing Only” area to pick up pointers from the surfers. 960 1280

John Churchman  

Coronado Central Beach, San Diego, CA

Coronado Central Beach, San Diego, CA

Just across the bridge from downtown San Diego you’ll find Coronado Central Beach. Kids will love building castles from sand that glistens year-round thanks to the glittery mineral, mica, which is mixed in with the sand. Walk along the beach to take in historic mansions, as well as the majestic Hotel del Coronado, the inspiration behind Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian.  960 1280

Chiara Salvadori  

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island

Consistently ranked among the best beaches in the Caribbean, Seven Mile Beach has soft, white sand and gentle waters that are ideal for first-time snorkelers eager to see tropical fish and colorful coral reefs. Off the beach, kids can splash in the fountains at Camana Bay, pet stingrays at Stingray City and get up-close with green sea turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm.  960 1280

Robin Hill  

Resort Beach, Virginia Beach, VA

Resort Beach, Virginia Beach, VA

There’s no shortage of things to do both on and off the beach in Virginia Beach. Walk or ride a surrey bike along the 3-mile boardwalk before snapping a selfie with the 34-foot bronze statue of King Neptune. Go horseback riding or take surfing lessons at Resort Beach, then let the kids go wild at Grommet Island Beach Park, a 100% wheelchair accessible children’s park.  960 1280

Don Klumpp  

Podaca Beach, Makarska Riviera, Croatia

Podaca Beach, Makarska Riviera, Croatia

Stretching nearly 40 miles between Makarska and Split is the Makarska Riviera, which boasts a number of beach towns with palm tree-lined promenades, ice cream shops and pedal boats to take out onto the delightfully blue water. Book a villa or stay in a family-run campsite along the pebble beach. Off the beach, kids will love hiking around nearby Biokovo Nature Park.   960 1280

Graham Monro/gm photographics  

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach is wide and flat, offering plenty of room for kids to walk, run, ride three-wheelers or go tide pooling in search of sea life and shells. Its postcard attraction is Haystack Rock, a 235-foot tall rock, which sits on the beach near the downtown area. Kite flying is perfect at Cannon Beach since the winds seem to blow at just the right speed. 960 1280

Stephen Curtin  

Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, MA

Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, MA

Cape Cod is a favorite year after year and Coast Guard Beach is perfect for long walks and building sand castles as a family. At the Salt Pond Visitor Center, pick up the park newspaper for the scoop on ranger-led nature walks and Junior Ranger programs. Ride bikes along one of three paved bike trails or go kayaking through the famous salt marshes.  960 1280

John Greim  

Corolla, NC

Corolla, NC

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has long been a top pick for families. Book a vacation rental right on the soft, sandy beach or park near the southernmost beach access point in Corolla for restrooms and showers. Go biking, take the ferry to Knotts Island or get hip to all kinds of water sports at Kitty Hawk Kayaks & Surf School.  960 1280

Josh Rinehults  

Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, AL

Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, AL

In summer, families flock to incredible beach towns in Alabama, like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Kids will have a ball swimming, crabbing and kayaking along the two-mile stretch of beach at Gulf State Park. There are hiking and biking trails, as well as a nature center that hosts guided nature walks. Just off the beach, head to Waterville USA for water slides, a lazy river and mini golf.  960 1280

Kenneth Shelton / EyeEm  

Poipu Beach Park, Kauai, HI

Poipu Beach Park, Kauai, HI

Families with kids of all ages will love Poipu Beach Park. Look for snorkeling and surfing for the big kids, as well as a playground and a shallow wading area for little ones. Enjoy a picnic under the shade of the palm trees or go for a coastal hike along the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail. In the evening, book a relaxing sunset catamaran cruise to see more of the scenic south side of the island.  960 1280

Steven Greaves  

Coco Plum Beach, Exumas, Bahamas

Coco Plum Beach, Exumas, Bahamas

The beaches of the Exumas are among the best in the Bahamas, especially for those eager to return home with beautiful shells and sand dollars. Located on the north end of Grand Exuma, Coco Plum Beach is a quiet beach with plenty of shady palm trees. For lunch, head to Big D’s Conch Stop, which serves up tasty conch fritters and salads.  960 1280

Danita Delimont  

La Concha Beach, San Sebastian, Spain

La Concha Beach, San Sebastian, Spain

One of the most famous city beaches in Europe, La Concha Beach, is also one of the best beaches for familes. Look for a carousel and multiple playgrounds that dot the beach and the town. Take the funicular railway to the top of Monte Igueldo for unmatched views of La Concha Bay. As a bonus, there’s an amusement park at the summit complete with bumper cars and pony rides.  960 1280

Alex Lapuerta  

Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, SC

Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Kiawah Island, SC

Just south of Charleston, explore nature, wildlife and beautiful South Carolina coastline on Kiawah Island. Kids can sing songs and take art lessons at Kamp Kiawah, as well as splash and play at Kiawah Beachwalker Park, a quiet beach that’s well-suited for small children. Rent bikes to explore the island or take classes to become a Junior Naturalist.  960 1280

Ash Lindsey Photography  

Long Beach, WA

Long Beach, WA

Dig for razor clams or take in the views of the Pacific from the half-mile wooden boardwalk located on the Long Beach Peninsula. Explore nearby lighthouses with the kids, hike along the Willapa Interpretive Art Trail or get your game on at the Funland Arcade. Work up an appetite paddling at Willapa Bay before indulging in a milkshake at Hungry Harbor Grille.  960 1280

photo by p.Folrev  

Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island, FL

Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island, FL

With more than 25 miles of paved trails, Sanibel Island is a fantastic place to explore by bike. Look for warm waters and gentle surf, as well as more than 300 kinds of seashells. Enroll the kids in Sanibel Sea School to learn about marine conservation before hopping a ferry to Cayo Costa State Park. Families will especially love Bowman’s Beach, which has a playground and magical sunsets.   960 1280

Danita Delimont  

Assateague Island National Seashore, MD

Assateague Island National Seashore, MD

Nearly 38 miles long, the Assateague Island National Seashore is a protected wildlife sanctuary. Stay in nearby Chincoteague or camp out on the beach of this barrier island. Kids will love hiking, clamming, crabbing and fishing on the beach, but the main attraction is the wild ponies, which have roamed the beaches and saltwater marshes since the 1600s.  960 1280

Trina Dopp Photography  

Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, MA

Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, MA

Known for soft, white sands and gentle waters, Wingaersheek Beach is the place to take the kids at low tide where you’ll find loads of clams, shells, even sand dollars, all over the beach. Pack a picnic lunch or grab a bite at one of several snack shops that that dot the beach. Parking isn’t cheap and you’ll need to get there early but you will be rewarded with kids who can’t wait to go back.  960 1280

Garry Black  

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Kids and families love Eagle Beach in Aruba. It’s a beach where you can easily spend the entire day relaxing in a beach chair and splashing in the turquoise waters. Walk along the beach in search of the island’s famous Divi Divi trees. Water sports are popular, so rent a jet ski, a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, or get set up to go snorkeling or parasailing.  960 1280

Holger Leue  

Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ

Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ

Sunset Beach is one of a handful of spots on the east coast where you can see the sunset from the beach. Come for the Victorian homes, the free parking and the crab cake sandwiches at the Sunset Beach Grill. Kids will love splashing in the surf and hunting for Cape May diamonds (quartz pebbles). Bring a camera to snap photos of the S.S. Atlantus, which sits just offshore.  960 1280

chrisstadlerphotography  

Camusdarach Beach, Arisaig, Scotland

Camusdarach Beach, Arisaig, Scotland

Located in one of the most scenic parts of the Scottish Highlands, you won’t go wrong camping near Camusdarach Beach and taking sea kayaks out into the water to explore the coves. Children will love playing in the sand and the calm, clear waters on the beach. Collect shells and enjoy the views of the Isle of Skye before settling in for the evening sunset.  960 1280

Peter Lewis  

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, FL

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, FL

Pier 60 is the place to be in Clearwater Beach for spectacular sunsets and a nightly sunset festival that includes live music, magicians, stilt walkers and local artisans. The crystal clear, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico makes this a great choice for families. Book a dolphin cruise or take to the sky for parasailing. Look to nearby Caladesi Island State Park for great shelling.  960 1280

Image Source  

Bachelor's Parties in New Orleans
For the Sports Fanatic: Chicago

For the Sports Fanatic: Chicago

It’s easy to see why Chicago is quickly becoming one of the most popular bachelor party destinations in the US. The city has something for everyone. Beach? Check. Professional sports? Check. The Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox all call Chicago home. Food? Check. Deep-dish pizza and Italian sausage are a must. And Beer? Um, check! Chicago has more than 60 breweries inside its city limits alone. 960 1280

Carl Larson Photography / Getty Images  

For the Jetsetter on a Coach Budget: Montreal

For the Jetsetter on a Coach Budget: Montreal

There are a myriad of reasons to visit Montreal, not least of which is its affordable and late-club scene centered along the 7-mile-long Boulevard Saint-Laurent, as well as the city’s fantastic summer festival lineup (including its fantastic beer, jazz and comedy fests), and its access to European flair without ever leaving the continent.
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naibank / Getty Images  

For the Over-Indulgent: New Orleans

For the Over-Indulgent: New Orleans

The Big Easy is unmatched for its ready-made party atmosphere and dedication to nonstop indulgence -- and no boulevard in the city is better suited to carousing than Bourbon Street. Some of the country's best music can be found at joints like Tipitina’s and Preservation Hall, and legendary restaurants like Brennan's will have you savoring your waning days of bachelorhood with bull shots, red roosters and so much more.
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Sean Gardner / Getty Images  

For the Beer Lover: Milwaukee

For the Beer Lover: Milwaukee

Wisconsin isn’t the most obvious potential bachelor party locale, but its biggest city has a lot more going for it bro-wise than you might think. Home to both MillerCoors and an abundance of worthy microbreweries, from Horny Goat Brewing Co. to good ole Milwaukee Brewing Company, Milwaukee has well earned its Brew City nickname. Stay at the bro-riffically brand new Brewhouse Inn & Suites, a boutique hotel located in the 20-acre downtown complex that housed the Pabst Brewery for over 150 years. 960 1280

Darren Hauck / Getty Images  

For the Music Fan: Nashville

For the Music Fan: Nashville

It ain’t called the Music City for nothin’! Now, I’m not saying there aren’t other places music lover’s should go on their bachelor parties (see New Orleans), but there is nowhere better in the world — for fans of country music — than Nashville. Without fail, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can find live music. Maybe music isn’t your thing. Don’t worry. Nashville still has plenty of amazing options for a bachelor. Like sports? Maybe a Predators hockey game or a Titans football game is more your speed. And no place on our list does barbecue quite like Nashville. 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Getty Images  

For the Classic Party Guy: Las Vegas

For the Classic Party Guy: Las Vegas

Sure a Vegas getaway for the guys is popular, but for good reason. From high-stakes gambling and all-day pool parties, to over-the-top clubs, Las Vegas is a nonstop full-tilt playground that’s the stuff of countless epic bro weekends.
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Eric Lo / Getty Images  

For the Adventure Seeker: Aspen

For the Adventure Seeker: Aspen

If you’re looking to hit the slopes for a fun, fast-paced bachelor party, you really can’t go wrong heading out west. However, there is one particular Colorado destination that seems to stand out the most, and that’s Aspen. Rent a cabin or stay at one of the famous ski-in/ski-out resorts with a bunch of your buddies and immerse yourself in Aspen’s cool, laid-back environment. The Apres-ski conditions don’t get much better either. Fire pits, hot tubs, live music and great food among other things are available at your fingertips around every corner. 960 1280

Onfokus / Getty Images  

For the Sea Lover: Yacht Week

For the Sea Lover: Yacht Week

Perhaps the ultimate bachelor party destination isn’t just one destination at all, visit several awe-inspiring European countries through Yacht Week. Bachelors get to choose which route they’d like to cruise, with special offers including trips around Croatia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, the British Virgin Islands and Thailand. And don’t forget to sign up well in advance; the different countries only have a limited number of yachts permitted per route, per week. 960 1280

DavorLovincic / Getty Images  

For the Night Life Enthusiast: Miami

For the Night Life Enthusiast: Miami

With its awesome oceanfront views, amazing food, easy access to some of the country's best sports, and 24-hour club scene, Miami’s South Beach has all the features of an ultimate bachelor fest. The restaurant scene is teeming with superstars like the 10,000-square-foot penthouse Juvia and the Florida outposts of New York City icons like Scarpetta and The Dutch. Not-to-miss party spots include Nikki Beach Club by day and LIV by night. 960 1280

Scott B Smith Photography / Getty Images  

For the Golf Pro: Phoenix

For the Golf Pro: Phoenix

For the sports-minded posse, the greater Phoenix area aims to please, with year-round sunshine and warm temps that make it perfect for enjoying the scores of superb golf courses, pro baseball’s Cactus League lineup, and a multitude of fantastic hiking and climbing options nearby in great outdoor spots like Camelback Mountain. And since no self-respecting bachelor weekend can be 100% healthy, the area is also surprisingly rife with nightlife and several casinos are within easy driving distance. 960 1280

Dave and Les Jacobs / Getty Images  

For the Beach Bro: Rio de Janeiro

For the Beach Bro: Rio de Janeiro

When it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, opposite-seasoned Rio de Janeiro makes for an especially magnetic stag party destination. And how many of your buddies can say they had their bachelor fests in the sizzling beachside host city of both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics? You’ll never need to leave the utopian Copacabana/Ipanema area, but for a little more authenticity and adventure, check out the even livelier Lapa neighborhood. 960 1280

Gonzalo Azumendi / Getty Images  

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Based on the "Harry Potter" books and films, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a $200-million theme-park at Universal Orlando that had its grand opening on June 18, 2010.  The park includes rides like the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff.  Diagon Alley opened July 8, 2014. 960 1280

Handout/Getty Images  

Triple-Decker Knight Bus

Triple-Decker Knight Bus

Hop aboard the Knight Bus if you're a stranded member of the wizarding community. To hail the bus, a witch or wizard can just stick their wand up in the air in the same manner that a muggle would do to hail a taxi. It is possible to book tickets for travel on the bus in advance. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resort  

Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express

The Hogwarts Express waits to transport young wizards at Hogsmeade Station at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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By Rain0975 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley, with its cobblestone-ladden roads, is the perfect place to get all of your necessities for the upcoming school year at Hogwarts. Diagon Alley is lined with inns, pubs, book shops, clothing stores and much more. 960 1280

Handout/Getty Images  

Gringotts Bank

Gringotts Bank

Diagon Alley includes the thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This attraction combines 360-degree themed sets, high-definition animation, state-of-the-art 3-D projection systems and live effects with characters and moments form the final "Harry Potter" book and film. And make sure you visit Gringotts Bank (pictured) -- it's the only bank in the Wizarding World owned and operated by goblins. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resort  

Ollivander's Wand Shop

Ollivander's Wand Shop

An essential stop for any witch or wizard going to choose a wand (or better yet, let the wand choose them), Ollivander’s Wand Shop is a must-visit in Diagon Alley.
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Bloomburg/Getty Images  

Daily Prophet

Daily Prophet

The place to turn your attention for all-things  wizarding, the Daily Prophet is a long-standing newspaper conglomerate located in Diagon Alley.
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By osseous from Oakland Park, U.S.A. (October 25, 2014) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry

Hogwarts school majestically towers over the theme park, bringing the tales of Harry and friends to life. 960 1280

Rstoplabe14 at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons  

Hogwarts Portrait Gallery

Hogwarts Portrait Gallery

The Hogwarts portrait gallery is just as described in the books with talking portraits of wizards decorating the walls. 960 1280

Handout/Getty Images  

Hogsmeade Village

Hogsmeade Village

The Harry Potter theme park re-creates the picturesque Hogsmeade village with shops and restaurants you'll recognize straight from the books. 960 1280

Orlando Sentinial/Getty Images  

Honeydukes

Honeydukes

You’ll enjoy your trip to Hogsmeade like a kid in a candy shop … or should I say, like a wizard in a candy shop! Honeydukes is the premier place to get all your chocolate and candy needs in one stop.

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By The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Hog's Head Pub

Hog's Head Pub

Looking for a cold glass of butterbeer? Hog’s Head is a local pub located in Hogsmeade where muggles can stop in and try an assortment of alcoholic beverages. 960 1280

By Snowman Guy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Three Broomsticks

Three Broomsticks

Located in the heart of Hogsmeade, Three Broomsticks is a popular restaurant known for their fish and chips, as well as shepherd’s pie and other assorted goodies. 960 1280

By The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

The Owlery

The Owlery

Visitors can rest their legs and observe the roosting owls at the Owlery across from the Three Broomsticks. 960 1280
Dumbledore's Office

Dumbledore's Office

Guests get a peek at Dumbledore's office tucked inside Hogwarts castle where the magic happens.
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By Karen Roe from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Dragon Challenge

Dragon Challenge

Guests make their way to Dragon Challenge, two dueling roller coasters that twist, turn and careen toward each other.
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By Snowman Guy (talk).Snowman Guy at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons  

Hagrid's Hut

Hagrid's Hut

Guests can view a re-creation of Hagrid's Hut on their way to ride the Flight of the Hippogriff.
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By The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA (Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hagrid's hut) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff

Named after the Hippogriff Buckbeak, (which has the head of an eagle and the body of a horse), Flight of the Hippogriff is a family-friendly coaster that flies past Hagrid's hut. 960 1280

By popculturegeek.com from Los Angeles, CA, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Flying Ford Anglia

Flying Ford Anglia

After Ron and Harry miss the Hogwarts Express in the "The Chamber of Secrets," they steal Mr. Weasley’s flying car in an attempt to make it to school on time. Unfortunately, the car never made it back to The Burrow, the home of Ron's family, but now resides here, trapped amongst the trees.
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By Jeremy Thompson from United States of America [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Paddle the Pacific

Paddle the Pacific

Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands National Park, just off the coast of Los Angeles, is home to some of the best kayaking on the West Coast. Rich with marine life and boasting the much-photographed Arch Rock, Anacapa is the perfect day trip or overnighter for the city dweller looking to get into some rough water. It’s a cliff island, so beware of winds, currents and fog.  

 

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Great Art Productions  

Float the Border

Float the Border

The mighty Rio Grande runs through Big Bend National Park in Texas, but it also represents the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Rafting down the river not only takes you through some eye-widening scenery, like 1500-foot deep canyons, but will also toss you back and forth across the border. 960 1280

Witold Skrypczak  

Hit the Sandy Slopes

Hit the Sandy Slopes

Colorado has Aspen, one of the most famous skiing destinations on the planet. It also has Sand Dunes National Park, one of the only sandboarding and sandsledding destinations on the planet. Slalom down the granular slopes like some diabolical combination of Jean-Claude Killy and Lawrence of Arabia. Hit the dunes early in the morning or late in the evening, lest you roast in the 150° midday heat. And don’t forget the lip balm.

 

 

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Simon Russell  

Cold Storage

Cold Storage

The upper regions of Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park have over 35 square miles of permanent ice and snow, providing a year-round paradise for hearty souls who consider ice camping a pleasure. If you’re going to stay the night on the mountain, securely lock your vittles to keep them from the clutches of foxes and other aggressive winter wildlife. 960 1280

Peter Haley  

Take in the Lights

Take in the Lights

Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park sits just below the Canadian border and offers campers a ringside seat to the Northern Lights. Voyageurs encompasses 270 campsites only accessible by watercraft, but we recommend the remote Echo Lake Campground for best visibility. Check a variety of weather services to determine your best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. 960 1280

Steve Burns  

Yosemite Gliding

Yosemite Gliding

It may seem crazy, but people have been leaping off Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park for decades. Hang gliding was once sanctioned and overseen by park employees. These days the private Yosemite Hang Gliding Association coordinates it. 960 1280

Celso Diniz  

The Rafters

The Rafters

If a weekend of seething whitewater just doesn’t cut it anymore, try an eight-day Grand Canyon raft trip down the Colorado River. There are a host of operators who will happily guide you down 200 miles of rapids. By the end of it, you’ll have seen Native-American ruins, mile-high cliff walls and countless eagles. 960 1280

  

Hit the Heights

Hit the Heights

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park boasts rock formations that will set a climber’s mouth to watering. The 415-square-mile park is a full-service climbing destination, featuring opportunities for scaling rock, wall, ice and snow. Lumpy Ridge and Longs Peak are favorites of local and international climbers. Whether you are an experienced sport climber or a beginning boulderer, be safe and leave no trace of your visit.

 

 

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Forest Woodward  

Lost in America

Lost in America

It makes sense that America’s largest national park is in Alaska, its largest state. Wrangell-Saint Elias stretches across 13,200,000 acres. You could fit Yellowstone, Everglades, and Death Valley inside it, and still have room for Denali, the third largest park (also in Alaska) at 6,075,030 acres. 960 1280

  

Take Me to the River

Take Me to the River

In addition to being the most popular hike in Zion National Park, the Narrows has something for every ability level over its 16 miles. The trail follows the Virgin River, which is convenient during the summer months, since you’ll be at least ankle-deep most of the time. If it starts to rain, head for high ground; flash floods are common and have a tendency to drop by without calling first.  960 1280

  

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