Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) across the US with festive margaritas, salsa and chips, and singing and dancing.

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Outlaw Run (Branson, MO)
Outlaw Run (Branson, Missouri)

Outlaw Run (Branson, Missouri)

Ready for a 68-mph adrenaline rush? Kick off July on the only wooden coaster to twist upside down with a record-breaking 3 inversions -- and a stomach-in-your-mouth 81-degree drop. Take advantage of Outlaw Run’s extended hours this month at Silver Dollar City. Can’t make it to Branson, MO, this July? Check out our complete guide to US amusement parks. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City  

Tour de France’s 100 Anniversary

Tour de France’s 100 Anniversary

Celebrate France’s biggest sporting event this month -- the Tour de France -- as it marks 100 years this July. The official kick-off takes place on the island of Corsica then crosses onto France’s mainland. Cruise the French countryside as you follow the grand event. Or if you can’t make it abroad, head to one of America’s top bicycling cities. 960 1280

REUTERS/Bogdan Criste  

San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)

San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)

Run for your life! Join hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists who flock to the northern Spanish city of Pamplona for the annual San Fermin Festival. At the stroke of noon on July 6, the celebration unfolds with 6 bulls and another 6 steers running down a half-mile stretch of narrow streets. The week-long events culminate in a final, grand fight in a bullring. 960 1280

ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/GettyImages  

Hemingway Days Festival (Key West, Florida)

Hemingway Days Festival (Key West, Florida)

Can’t make it to Pamplona this month? Head to Key West, FL,instead! Now in its 33rd year, Hemingway Days Festival honors the late author, who lived and worked on the southern coast of the island. The annual event includes its own “Running of the Bulls” -- this one with Ernest Hemingway lookalikes pushing fake bulls on Key West’s famed Duval Street. 960 1280

REUTERS/Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout  

California Wine Festival (Santa Barbara, California)

California Wine Festival (Santa Barbara, California)

Head to one of the biggest wine festivals under the sun! Celebrate wine harvest season this July with a visit to California wine country. Held this year in Santa Barbara, the 10th annual California Wine Festival showcases vintage wines, along with gourmet appetizers including artisan breads and cheeses. Cheers! 960 1280

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Alaska Cruise Season

Alaska Cruise Season

Escape the heat, and take in awe-inspiring glacial views, with a cruise to Alaska. Cruise ships dock alongside towns from Seward, along Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, to Ketchikan, in the Alexander Archipelago. Cruise ships also dock near Katmai National Park, where July is prime time to see bears gulp up Atlantic salmon on their run. And if cruise prices prove too high in July, fret not: Alaska’s prime cruise season stretches through September. 960 1280

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Amsterdam Fashion Week

Amsterdam Fashion Week

New York, Paris … and Amsterdam? Ja! Amsterdam Fashion Week began as an effort to put the Dutch capital on the fashion map. Nearly 10 years later, the twice-annual showcase of new and established fashion talent in the Netherlands is going strong. While you’re here hit the streets to truly experience Amsterdam. 960 1280

ADE JOHNSON/AFP/GettyImages  

Taste of Chicago (Grant Park)

Taste of Chicago (Grant Park)

This July don’t miss the world’s largest food festival -- yes, the largest! Held annually in mid-July, Taste of Chicago draws dozens of food vendors and participating restaurants to Chi-Town’s Grant Park. Now 34 years strong, the annual event attracts upwards of 3 million people each year -- and with foodie indulgences like the famous deep-dish pizza, we know why! 960 1280

star5112, flickr   

NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week

What’s the culinary capital of America? Our vote’s on the Big Apple. Head to NYC this July to savor the city’s culinary best during NYC Restaurant Week. Held in late July, this twice-annual event sees participating restaurants offer prix-fixe lunches and dinners. Be sure to check out buzz-worthy restaurants, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s newly opened ABC Cocina. 960 1280

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National Ice Cream Month

National Ice Cream Month

This July we all scream for ice cream. Celebrate National Ice Cream Month -- designated a national holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 -- with a trip to America’s coolest ice cream shops. And why not head to the granddaddy of them all -- Bassetts Ice Cream in Philadelphia -- the oldest ice cream company in the US, founded in 1861! 960 1280

bigbirdz, flickr  

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

Our “Neighbor to the North” marks its birthday this month. Get in on the festivities during the Calgary Stampede! This 10-day event is Canada’s largest annual rodeo, and one of its largest festivals to boot. Billed as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the rodeo draws more than 1 million visitors each year. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary

Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary

Retrace one of America’s biggest moments. This July the Battle of Gettysburg marks its 150th anniversary. Tour Gettysburg and its historic town, and take in battle reenactments of events that culminated in more than 51,000 casualties and the setting for President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. 960 1280

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images  

Bastille Day … in New Orleans

Bastille Day … in New Orleans

Viva La France! Come July 14, celebrate France’s Independence Day. See the skies above Paris’ Place de la Bastille light up with fireworks. Can’t make it to Grand Paris this July? Head to the Big Easy, where Bastille Day celebrations occur in the “most French of American cities,” in and around the French Quarter and the French-founded St. John neighborhood. 960 1280

Frank Stansbury  

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks

Pop! Boom! Bang! July spells independence, with glorious fireworks nationwide. Celebrate Independence Day with a visit to the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display over the Hudson River. And if NYC’s not on your itinerary, check out more of America’s best fireworks displays -- in St. Louis, Addison, TX, and Chicago’s Navy Pier. 960 1280

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images  

Groundhog Day --
Every Feb. 2, we rely on a groundhog to predict the weather. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we accept 6 more weeks of cold weather. And if Phil doesn’t, we can hope for an early spring.
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Jeff Swensen  

La Tomatina --
Revellers pelt each other during the world's biggest tomato fight at the Tomatina Festival on the last Wednesday in August, in Bunol, Spain.
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Jasper Juinen  

Ivana Kupala --
Summer solstice is celebrated during the Ivana Kupala festival near Orsha, Belarus. Originally a pagan tradition, the festival includes bathing in a lake or river, plus jumping over burning campfires -- a practice believed to purify oneself of sin.
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© Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters, Reuters Picture Stream/MED  

Maslenitsa --
Russian men take part in push fights during Maslenitsa (Pancake Week), also known as a winter farewell holiday in Russia. Maslenitsa, a traditional Russian holiday that marks the end of winter, dates back to pagan times.
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© Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters  

Holi Festival --
Hindu devotees play with colored powders during Holi celebrations at the Bankey Bihari Temple in Vrindavan, India. Holi, the spring festival of colors, is celebrated by Hindus worldwide with an explosion of color to mark the end of winter.
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International Poncho Day--
Designed to promote the work of local artisans who weave traditional wool ponchos, this celebration includes parades with ponchos galore -- even on dogs, sheep and parrots.
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© Reuters Photographer / Reuters  

"Up Helly Aa" --
The traditional festival of fire known as "Up Helly Aa" takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January in Shetland, UK. Participants in full costume haul a Viking longboat through the streets as paraders throw flaming torches into the galley.
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Jeff J Mitchell  

Naked Festival --
Hadaka Matsuri is a festival for ritual purification held in different forms across Japan, where almost fully-naked men compete for lucky sacred sticks.
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Land Dive --
In Vanuatu, virile young men take the plunge in an annual religious ceremony known as the land dive to celebrate the end of the yam harvest.
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International Talk Like a Pirate Day --
Mark your calendars. Every Sept. 19 you can say "ahoy matey" and "arrr!" without getting strange looks.
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Oktoberfest, Munich
Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

Raise a stein to Oktobertfest. This annual, 16-day celebration of all things beer kicks off in late September in Munich. Can’t make it to Germany? Bring your taste for brewski to these US Oktoberfest events. 960 1280

Photononstop / Getty Images  

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

Mark your calendars: The fall foliage season kicks off in the northern regions this month. Our top picks for New England fall foliage splendor include Vermont, Connecticut and Maine, where colors typically start to change around mid-September.  960 1280

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Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Call it an excuse to party: Come Sept. 27, the 3-day Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival begins. In mainland China, the annual festival is the second biggest holiday of the year (right behind the country’s spring festival). Experience Mid-Autumn fun yourself at Chicago’s Moon Festival 960 1280

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Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance (Hong Kong)

Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance (Hong Kong)

Top off Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations with the Tai Hang fire dragon dance. This 3-day-long event, held during the Mid-Autumn Festival, carries on a tradition that’s more than 100 years old. In the Hong Kong community of Tai Hang, some 300 performers take to the streets, dancing, waving incense sticks and animating a 220-foot-long dragon. 960 1280

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Braemar Gathering (Braemar, Scotland)

Braemar Gathering (Braemar, Scotland)

Pull! A tug-of-war team competes during the Braemar Highland Games in Scotland. A tradition that dates back 200 years, the Braemar Gathering is the most famous of the Highland Games, attracting thousands of visitors to the small Scottish village of Braemar the first Saturday in September.  960 1280

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images  

New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week

See what’s current at New York Fashion Week. The semi-annual event, officially known as Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek. Top fashion designers showing their Spring/Summer couture include Carolina Herrera alongside relative newcomers, like the designers of the Tome fashion label.  960 1280

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Kentucky Bourbon Festival (Bardstown, KY)

Kentucky Bourbon Festival (Bardstown, KY)

Spirits lovers will want to head to Bardstown, KY -- the bourbon capital of the world since 1776. Every September, the small city hosts the weeklong Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which showcases more than 30 bourbon-related happenings, including the chance to sample the many different flavors of bourbon and whiskey, each sure to give you a nice kick in the gut. 960 1280

Lakeview Photography  

Texas State Fair (Dallas)

Texas State Fair (Dallas)

“Our state fair is a great state fair.” How can it not be when it’s in Texas? Beginning the last Friday in September, the annual Texas State Fair unfolds over 24 days in Dallas, TX, with plenty of fun for the whole family, including the chance to ride this Ferris wheel – the largest in North America.  960 1280

Getty Images  

Budapest Wine Festival

Budapest Wine Festival

Sure, Napa Valley is great, but why not try something different this year? Held since 1991, the annual Budapest Wine Festival is the largest event of its kind in Hungary, attracting more than 50,000 people a year. Sip red and white vintages, while strolling the grounds of the historic Buda Castle, which dates back to the 14th century.  960 1280

Budapest Wine Festival  

Belgian Beer Weekend

Belgian Beer Weekend

The drinking fun doesn’t end in Budapest! Head to Belgium for Belgian Beer Weekend. Held at Brussel’s Grand Place square, this annual celebration in early September showcases Belgian brews from more than 30 small and big breweries.   960 1280

Reuters/Francois Lenoir  

Monterey Jazz Fest (Monterey, CA)

Monterey Jazz Fest (Monterey, CA)

Give it up for great music at the 56th annual Monterey Jazz Festival. As the world’s longest-running jazz festival, Monterey attracts more than 500 artists, on 3 stages, for 3 nights and 2 days. This year’s lineup includes jazz legend Herbie Hancock. 960 1280

Education Images/ Universal Images Group/ Getty Images  

Ryder Cup (Perthshire, Scotland)

Ryder Cup (Perthshire, Scotland)

The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland, will host the 40th Ryder Cup, where the US team will make an attempt to win back the trophy from the European team. Designed by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus, the golf course is located in the heart of Scotland, and boasts beautiful landscape views of the Perthshire countryside. 960 1280

Getty Images Sport  

Malta International Airshow

Malta International Airshow

See jet-propelled acrobatic feats at the Malta International Airshow. One of the largest outdoor events on the Mediterranean island, this nearly 20-year-old airshow, held outside the capital of Valletta, offers a first-hand view of precision acrobatic demonstrations, like the Patrouille de France, the aerobatic team of the French Air Force, pictured here.  960 1280

Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi  

Waikiki Roughwater Swim (Honolulu)

Waikiki Roughwater Swim (Honolulu)

Take to the water in the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. Held in early September, this annual event, now in its 44th year, attracts about 1,000 swimmers competing in the waters off Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach. In between competition times, enjoy some Waikiki family fun 960 1280

Tro Pics Hawaii  

York Food and Drink Festival (Yorkshire, England)

York Food and Drink Festival (Yorkshire, England)

Got the UK on your travel radar this September? Then head to Northern England for the annual York Food and Drink Festival. Held in the historic county of Yorkshire, the festival offers visitors a sampling of local flavors like mackerel pate, chunky fries and gin liqueur along a taste trail.  960 1280

York Food Festival  

College Football Kickoff

College Football Kickoff

Are you ready for some college football? It’s kick-off time! Grab your buds and head to America’s best college football stadiums, from Michigan Stadium (the largest football stadium in the US) to University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium (the third largest stadium in the US). 960 1280

Getty Images Sport  

Constitution Day

Constitution Day

Celebrate Constitution Day and the anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution with a trip to Washington, DC, on September 17. The National Archives has the original Constitution on display in the Rotunda, along with the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Make the most out of your trip to DC and pay a visit to the Smithsonian museums and monuments along the National Mall.  960 1280

Photodisc / Getty Images  

California Wine Month

California Wine Month

Calling all wine enthusiasts! September is California Wine Month and wineries in regions throughout the state -- from Napa Valley to Temecula Valley -- will be marking the harvest and celebrating the month with special wine tours, tastings, concerts and more.   960 1280

Getty Images News  

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Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

Fabulously sexy, this annual fest of flesh and fun rightly lays claim to being the world’s biggest Carnival bash. Join the throngs of 2 million revelers who descend upon Rio this February -- we dare you not to get swept up in the fabulous energy of blocos, bandas and bods. 960 1280

Reuters  

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Fabulous genes meet fabulous scenes in the most hotly anticipated sports magazine cover of the year. Nearly 50 years after the magazine’s debut, the latest entrants onto the scene carry on the time-honored tradition of sun, sand and skin. 960 1280

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NY Fashion Week

NY Fashion Week

Fabulous fashionistas stay ahead of the fashion curve here. Officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, this twice-annual bash is NYC’s single-largest media event, attracting more than 100,000 industry insiders from around the world. 960 1280

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Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec Winter Carnival

For fabulous winter fun, head to this annual festival in Quebec City. Fabulous skiing, snow rafting, sled rides and a masquerade ball are among the many attractions, in what is the largest winter carnival in the world, now 60 years strong. 960 1280

Reuters  

Chocolate-Covered February

Chocolate-Covered February

Yes, yes, yes! February wouldn’t be quite so fabulous without this fabulously decadent treat! Treat your Valentine to the Sweetest Place on Earth (Hershey, PA, of course) for this month-long celebration. No guilt allowed. 960 1280

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Our fabulous, furry little friend here sure knows how to grab our attention. Bring your lawn chair to Gobbler’s Knob, and keep your eyes peeled as Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators, reveals his end-of-winter predictions. 960 1280

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Super Bowl

Super Bowl

Are you ready for some football? Don your warrior paint, grab your favorite jersey, it’s time for the ultimate fabulous showcase of brawn and muscle. As the Ravens and 49ers go toe-to-toe, place your bets in our city vs. city showdown. 960 1280

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Grammys

Grammys

Music’s biggest night of the year spells fabulous entertainment. This February’s headliner is JT, taking center stage after a 4-year hiatus, plus Jack White, The Lumineers, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift and the fabulous Sir Elton. 960 1280

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Black History Month

Black History Month

Inspiring will and accomplishment that paved the way for future generations -- mark this fabulous month-long celebration with a trip to a place like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the interpretive museum in Alabama that chronicles the struggles of the civil rights movement. 960 1280

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Oscars

Oscars

Fabulous performances, fabulous fashions, fabulously long speeches (oh, please, no!) -- the 85th annual Academy Awards take center stage at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre this month. Our prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis for best actor, Jennifer Lawrence for best actress. What's yours? 960 1280

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Westminster Dog Show

Westminster Dog Show

Before there was ever “America’s next top model” or “America’s top chef,” there was America’s top dog. For the past 137 years, this annual showcase of canine’s best breeds has dazzled dog lovers everywhere. And in fabulous news for Russell Terrier lovers, this year sees the little pooch make its Westminster debut. Woof! 960 1280

Reuters  

American Heart Month

American Heart Month

Feel fabulous as you do your part in this month-long public health campaign. First thing’s first: Get up out of that chair (you know, the one you’re sitting in now), and go for a walk. Thirty minutes, most days of the week, is all you need to get going. Your heart will reward you in fabulous ways. 960 1280

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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

The longest and most important festivity on the Chinese calendar had to make our fabulous list. Get ready to ring in the Year of the Snake! Our sources tell us lucky directions for the snake are southwest and northeast. Start … slithering. 960 1280

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Tour de France’s 100th

Tour de France’s 100th

Cycling’s premier annual event marks its 100th anniversary in 2013. The very first Tour de France comprised a 5-stage race, beginning in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes before returning to Paris. Today, the race typically spans 21 days and a total of 2,000 miles; 2013’s Tour de France will start in Corsica, in the city of Porto-Vecchio, and finish at dusk in Paris. 960 1280

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Grand Central’s 100th

Grand Central’s 100th

This megadaddy of rail travel turns 100 in 2013. Spanning 48 acres, the grand Beaux-Arts-designed terminal has risen and fallen (it went into bankruptcy in 1970 and even faced potential demolition), and risen again. Today, the hub is the world’s sixth most visited tourist attraction, according to a Travel + Leisure survey. 960 1280

Katie Hards   

Groundhog Day at 20

Groundhog Day at 20

Thank the 1993 Bill Murray flick for catapulting this furry little guy onto the national scene. 2013 marks the American comedy-turned-classic’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate with a trip to the central Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, where thousands have gathered each year since 1886 to await Punxsutawney Phil’s end-of-winter predictions. According to records dating back to 1887, Phil’s been accurate 39% of the time. 960 1280

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125 Years of Nat Geo

125 Years of Nat Geo

Many leaders have had the National Geographic Society to thank for kindling their imagination in exploring the world around them. Among them was America’s 36th president LBJ -- he once said, “My mother brought me up by putting the Bible in my right hand and the National Geographic magazine in my left.” 960 1280

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Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam sees an epic year of milestones ahead: In 2013, Amsterdam marks the 175th birthday of the Artis Royal Zoo, the nation's most famous zoo, which houses 900 species of animals. The Dutch capital is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of its famed Canal Ring, which has given Amsterdam the moniker, "Venice of the North." 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

One day, without warning, this idyllic coastal town in Sonoma County, CA, was attacked by … the birds! Who can ever look at birds the same way after watching Hitchcock’s suspense-horror classic, which turns 50 in 2013. Mark the occasion with a visit to Bodega Bay, and keep a watchful eye on the sky -- you just never know. 960 1280

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Harley-Davidson at 110

Harley-Davidson at 110

The freedom of the open road, the need for speed -- this journey began 110 years ago in Milwaukee. In 1903, the granddaddy of American motorcycle manufacturers got its start in a small machine shop, where a 23-year-old engineering genius William Sylvester Harley toiled away. Harley worked on a “motor-cycle” with childhood friend Arthur Davidson; the rest is bad-ass history. 960 1280

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The Drive-In Turns 70

The Drive-In Turns 70

This icon of American pop culture became official 70 years ago, when a chemical company magnate was granted a patent for his invention: an outdoor theater. From humble beginnings (the first drive-in opened in Pennsauken Township, NJ), the drive-in movie theater peaked in popularity from the late 1950s to early 1960s. You can relive the glory days at retro drive-ins like Sandell Theater in Clarendon, TX. 960 1280

Orange County Archives, flickr  

Lamborghini at 50

Lamborghini at 50

You are what you drive. Who’d want to admit that -- unless, of course, you’re driving this motor-sportin’ beaut. Fifty years ago, the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer got its start in the northern Italian town of Sant'Agata Bolognese. In May 2013, the automaker celebrates by hosting a 700-mile road trip through northern and central Italy. Andiamo! 960 1280

Ben_in_london, flickr  

David Livingstone's 200th

David Livingstone's 200th

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Why, indeed it is: 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the famed Scottish explorer’s birth. At the age of 27, the young missionary headed for Africa. Fascinated by the continent’s beauty, he went on to spend 30 years in places such as modern-day Botswana and Zambia. In the end, his one regret was that he hadn’t spent enough time with his children. Honor the great doctor’s legacy; take the kids on safari. 960 1280

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Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out … and why would you want to? Not when the setting is the beautiful Aloha State. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the King’s live concert from the capital city of Honolulu. Celebrate Elvis’ love of all things Hawaiian with your own journey to his favorite spots, like Hanauma Bay, featured in his films Blue Hawaii and Paradise, Hawaiian Style. 960 1280

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Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

With a stroke of the pen, Abraham Lincoln opened the door to the eradication of America’s greatest evil. The end of slavery would not come with the simple signing of this executive order on Jan. 1, 1863, but it did make abolition an official goal of the Civil War. Revisit that chapter in the exhibit “Changing America,” at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History through Sept. 15, 2013. 960 1280

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Gettysburg at 150

Gettysburg at 150

“Four score and 7 years ago …” The passion of Abraham Lincoln’s words, all 272 of them, gave meaning to what history would record as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Relive this pivotal moment in US history with a trip to this stretch of southern Pennsylvania, during the 150th anniversary year of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address. 960 1280

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I Have a Dream Turns 50

I Have a Dream Turns 50

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; stand in the exact spot where MLK delivered his speech at the Lincoln Memorial. 2013 sees other big civil rights anniversaries, including the 100th birthday of the “first lady of civil rights” Rosa Parks and the 50th anniversary of protests in Birmingham, AL, that triggered a national dialogue about the need for civil rights for African-American citizens. 960 1280

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West Virginia's 150th

West Virginia's 150th

The Mountain State marks its 150th anniversary in 2013. In June 1863, at the height of the Civil War, an expanse of land in the Appalachian Mountain range broke away from the state of Virginia, becoming the only state to form by seceding from the Confederacy. Among West Virginia’s must-see sites is the New River Gorge, a 3,030-foot-long steel arch bridge near Fayetteville, WV. 960 1280

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NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Sixty-eight college basketball teams, 1 single-elimination tournament. Who will be this year’s champ? A season of hard work comes down to a single mad dash to the finish. Make sure to fill out your brackets! 960 1280

Joe Robbins/Getty Images  

Spring Break

Spring Break

Even if you’re years out of school, spring break can still be a a great excuse to get away. Just imagine lots of sun, sand and Absolut-ly good times with friends! Check out these spring break party spots to plan your warm-weather escape. 960 1280

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St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

Everyone’s Irish on March 17th. In celebration of Ireland’s most famous patron saint, don your best shamrock green, and head to one of these St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world. 960 1280

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images  

Napa Valley Marathon

Napa Valley Marathon

Looking for an inspiring place to get active? Few locales can beat sunny, scenic Napa Valley. 2014 will mark the 36th anniversary of the annual Napa Valley Marathon -- a 26.2-mile course bordered by world-class vineyards. 960 1280

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Hanami

Hanami

Get ready for some “flower viewing.” From the end of March to early May, cherry blossoms (known as “sakura”) bloom all over Japan. The practice of hanami goes back centuries; today the tradition of flower viewing continues as thousands of people fill parks each year to hold feasts under the flowering trees or take boat rides nearby, like here in Tokyo’s Inokashira Park. 960 1280

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images   

Merrie Monarch Festival

Merrie Monarch Festival

Think “hula,” and you probably also think “Hawaii.” The person who helped ensure that long-standing association is Kalakua, the last reigning king of Hawaii, who revived the hula after it had been banned under Christian missionary influence in 1830. Celebrate the hula -- and the “Merrie Monarch” who fought for its preservation -- in this annual weeklong festival in Hilo, HI. 960 1280

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MSC Preziosa Cruise

MSC Preziosa Cruise

All aboard! March 2014 will mark the 1-year anniversary of this luxury cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. The maiden voyage starts from Saint-Nazaire (in western France) to Genoa, Italy. The ship will feature 1,751 cabins, as well as 21 bars, 4 principal restaurants and much more. 960 1280

Bernard BIGER STX France  

Holi

Holi

Paint the town red … and yellow … and whatever other colors you can get your hands on. This annual spring festival of colors, marked by Hindus worldwide, celebrates spring’s abundant colors. Participants throw colored powder at each other … and go wild. 960 1280

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Las Fallas

Las Fallas

One onlooker described this annual fiesta in Valencia, Spain, as “a cross between a bawdy Disneyland, Fourth of July and the end of the world.” Each year, the town oversees “Las Fallas” (which literally means “the fires” in Valencian), a 5-day celebration involving the creation and burning of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”). Pyromaniacs welcome. 960 1280

JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images   

Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

Ah, the first day of spring. On the equinox, night and day are exactly the same length (12 hours) all over the world. (The term “equinox” means “equal night” in Latin.) Celebrate the first day of spring at Mexico’s Kukulkan Pyramid (pictured), where locals and tourists come to recreate the parties that accompanied the equinox celebrations thousands of years ago (minus the cutting out of hearts!). 960 1280

Gerardo Garcia / Reuters  

SXSW

SXSW

Head to the largest music festival of its kind in the world! 2014’s South by Southwest festival in Austin features a conversation with Edward Snowden and a keynote address by actress Lena Dunham. 960 1280

Extreme Airshots (SXSW)  

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