Mad About March

We’re mad for March, absolutely, certifiably mad. Men’s basketball tops our list, plus spring break, a new cruise and, of course, St. Paddy’s Day. See what else we’re mad about this month!

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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  

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

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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

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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  

Scarborough Renaissance Festival
Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Travel back to the 16th century at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. This annual fest in Waxahachie, TX, kicks off the first weekend in April, drawing crowds upwards of 200,000 to view some 200 performances, like this round of jousting and horsemanship. See more ideas for where to travel in April. 960 1280

Scarborough Renaissance Festival   

The Final Four Championship

The Final Four Championship

See the best in college basketball face-off on the court at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Hundreds of spectators will converge on the stadium to watch the Final Four Championship. Who will be crowned 2015’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Champs? 960 1280

Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service/Getty Images  

Earth Day at Yosemite

Earth Day at Yosemite

Celebrate Earth Day in one of America’s most treasured national parks. Timed in conjunction with National Park Week, Yosemite celebrates the planet’s big day with bike rides, junior ranger day walks, and even an Earth Day cake and lemonade, yum! 960 1280

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King’s Day in Amsterdam

King’s Day in Amsterdam

Enjoy a ride along Amsterdam’s canals, and don your brightest orange, for the Netherlands’ annual King’s Day. The national holiday celebrates the Dutch royal house (and current King Willem-Alexander) with plenty of “orange madness,” in keeping with the Dutch national colors. 960 1280

passer-by, flickr  

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Show your Boston pride, and find something for everyone to enjoy. The annual Boston Marathon kicks off with a fitness expo featuring more than 200 exhibitors, followed by a 5K set to draw an estimated 10,000 participants as well as a relay challenge -- all topped by the grand celebration of city spirit on Patriot’s Day. 960 1280

Reuters  

Masters Golf Tournament

Masters Golf Tournament

Tee up for the granddaddy of all golf tournaments. The 78th Masters Tournament kicks off the first of 4 major championships, with plenty of betting odds. Will Tiger Woods beat out Rory McIlroy for the green jacket? Head to Augusta, GA the first week in April to find out! 960 1280

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Coachella

Coachella

Get your music fill at the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The annual 2-weekend, 3-day fest kicks off in Indio, CA, with more than 150 performances set for 2014. OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire headline this year’s show. 960 1280

Reuters  

Alaska's Arctic Man

Alaska's Arctic Man

Go fast, or go home! Prepare for the ultimate adrenaline rush at Alaska’s Arctic Man -- one of the world's toughest downhill ski races, and an exciting snowmobile race, all in one. Skiers begin at a summit elevation of 5,800 feet and drop 1,700 feet to the bottom of a narrow canyon where they’re met by their snowmobiling partner. 960 1280

  

Annular Solar Eclipse

Annular Solar Eclipse

Get out some cool solar shades, and head to the Land Down Under for an unforgettable show: In late April, the Moon passes between the Earth and the sun, creating a sight you don’t see every day. View the solar eclipse across Australia, in between checking out these equally exceptional Australia world heritage sites. 960 1280

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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Love jazz? Join fellow music lovers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Held every year since 1970, the annual Jazz Fest, as it’s called, showcases nearly every music genre, from blues to R&B, and everything else in between. It’s all performed across 12 stages during the last weekend in April. 960 1280

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Redneck Yacht Club

Redneck Yacht Club

Wanna channel your inner redneck? Head to Daytona, FL, for the Redneck Yacht Club’s downhome, rowdy roundup of fun: The Daytona Tune-Up Jeep and ATV Weekend features obstacle courses, mud holes and winding trails and hills, and, for the kids, an ATV challenge track, across hundreds of acres of trails. 960 1280

  

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National Cherry Blossom Festival

National Cherry Blossom Festival

The nation’s capital comes abloom every spring with the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. See the famed cherry blossom trees, lining the Tidal Basin, while strolling past sites like the Jefferson and Martin Luther King memorials. See more ideas for where to travel in March. 960 1280

iStock   

Holi (India)

Holi (India)

Celebrate spring with a dash of color. The annual Holi festival in India inspires revelers to hit the streets, playfully throwing powdered colors on each other. Once your clothes are doused with all sorts of hues, you’ll understand why this is called a festival of colors. 960 1280

Reuters   

Daytona Bike Week

Daytona Bike Week

Rev up for a week of diesel and fun at Daytona Bike Week. The annual motorcycle rally attracts some of the fiercest bikers, clad in leather (and sometimes little else) to celebrate the freedom of the open road. 960 1280

DonRichards, flickr   

MLB Opening Season

MLB Opening Season

Calling all baseball fans! Grab a hot dog, popcorn and peanuts to enjoy one of America's favorite pastimes. Travel to watch the opening game to kick off the Major League Baseball season.   960 1280

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Las Fallas (Valencia, Spain)

Las Fallas (Valencia, Spain)

Enjoy a high-spirited fiesta in Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. The annual bash, held in commemoration of Saint Joseph, sees neighborhoods transformed into lively parties over a boisterous 5-day period. 960 1280

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Spring Equinox: Stonehenge

Spring Equinox: Stonehenge

Mark the beginning of spring with a celebratory gathering at Stonehenge. Join the crowds who gather at the mysterious stone structures in Wiltshire, England, to see the sun rise, ushering in the spring equinox. 960 1280

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St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

Don your friendliest green for St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is the place to be, with the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade drawing anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million people every year. 960 1280

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March Madness

March Madness

Get out your ballots, it’s time for March Madness. The annual college basketball showdown begins March 18. Stay glued to the tube and watch every game live or hit the road and check out our list of the best college basketball towns. 960 1280

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Spring Break (Panama City Beach)

Spring Break (Panama City Beach)

Slap on your sunscreen and grab your shades for a laid-back spring break on Panama City Beach. This sunny haven on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico beckons with its tagline, “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.” You’ll see why once you sink your toes into its unique sugar-white sand. 960 1280

iStock   

South by Southwest

South by Southwest

Pull up a seat at the leading film, interactive and music festival showcase in America. Every year, since 1987, South by Southwest has put the spotlight on Austin, TX, and cutting-edge communication trends; see what’s in store this year, with speakers like Chelsea Clinton and actress Mindy Kaling. 960 1280

Jason Kempin   

Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Head to Chicago's historic Grant Park for a 3-day, ultimate jam session featuring artists from a variety of genres, including alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip-hop. Past performances have included Charlie XCX, Tyler the Creator, Kings of Leon, Eminem and Lorde.   960 1280

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La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes are the star of this annual tomato-throwing festival. La Tomatina, possibly the world's biggest food fight, has been held in the town of Bunol in the Valencia region of Spain since 1945. Let loose and start throwing, just make sure to bring a pair of goggles -- more than 100 tons of over-ripe tomatoes will be thrown into the streets! 
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PGA Championship (Kohler, WI)

PGA Championship (Kohler, WI)

Love golf? Tee up and head to this annual golf tournament, one of the 4 major championships in pro golf. This year's PGA Championship takes center stage at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI. 960 1280

Kohler  

Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

Do your patriotic duty, and honor the Aloha State with a visit this month -- August 21 marks Hawaii?s admittance as the 50th state. Lap up the waves on Oahu's North Shore; and for culinary fare, we've got the inside scoop on 4 ways to eat like a local on Oahu. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Shake, rattle and roll! Memphis, TN, marks its annual Elvis Week celebration each August. There's always something for Elvis fans, including the big draw each year, the annual Elvis Tribute Artists contest. Who will be crowned the King? 960 1280

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Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, ME)

Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, ME)

The annual Maine Lobster Festival kicks off this month, and you won't want to miss a moment of it! Over the course of the 5-day festival, more than 20,000 lbs. of lobster will be served -- lobster rolls, lobster wraps, lobster Caesar salad? Did we say lobster? Plus, see the annual Lobster Crate Race, cooking contest and the Maine Sea Goddess coronation! 960 1280

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Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival (Seattle)

Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival (Seattle)

Get a full dose of culture during Labor Day weekend. Head to Seattle for this music and arts fest -- it's one of the largest in North America. Bumbershoot began in 1971; today the annual gathering draws artists in film, music, spoken word, theater, dance, visual arts and more. Like we said, it's big. 960 1280

Christopher Nelson  

US Open Tennis Tournament (Queens, NY)

US Open Tennis Tournament (Queens, NY)

The stars of tennis hit the court for one of the oldest tennis championships in the world. First held in 1881, the US Open is the fourth and final tennis major of the year’s Grand Slam tournaments -- and the only one held in North America. The cash prize can has been more than $24 million. See the high-stakes action in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY. 
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AFP / Getty Images  

Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon, Scotland)

Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon, Scotland)

Nice legs! See big, brawny men in flowing Scottish skirts compete in the largest Highland games in the world -- the Cowal Highland Gathering. Also known as the Cowal Games, the annual event is held in the Scottish town of Dunoon, attracting more than 23,000 spectators to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture. 960 1280

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images  

Hatch Chile Festival (Hatch, NM)

Hatch Chile Festival (Hatch, NM)

Chile aficionados, get your peppery fix at the Hatch Chile Festival. The annual fest kicks off at the end of August, and showcases mouthwatering (and burning) chile-packed dishes such as creamed corn, burritos and cheeseburgers. Thank Hatch Valley?s volcanic soil, plentiful sun and 4,000-foot elevation for their chiles' tasty perfection. 960 1280

iStock  

Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)

Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)

Imagine spending a week in a remote desert, cut off from the outside world, to experience and celebrate life. Get your chance at Burning Man -- the largest outdoor festival in North America. Each year, the annual event, held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, welcomes more than 60,000 people. You might want to switch your cell phone to airplane mode for this one. 960 1280

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart   

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Drive through South Dakota?s famed Black Hills, and meet 400,000 hardcore bikers and babes at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The annual event takes place the first week of August, with the usual motor-roarin? fanfare and bad-ass leather. But what we want to know is: Do you have what it takes to win this year's Best Redneck Tattoo Contest? 960 1280

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State Fair Season

State Fair Season

State fair season kicks off in August; see the stars of the season like the Orange County Fair (pictured), which draws more than 1.5 million fairgoers, or the Minnesota State Fair, which Andrew Zimmern calls his own slice of heavenly obsession. With state fair staples like ice-cold lemonade and fried treats, we can see why. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

World’s Longest Yard Sale! (127 Corridor Sale)

World’s Longest Yard Sale! (127 Corridor Sale)

Proving one man's trash is another man's treasure grab a wad of cash for the World's Longest Yard Sale! Held the first or second week in August, this frugal-shopper's dream stretches more than 690 miles -- from its birthplace in Jamestown, TN, all the way north to Addison, MI, and south to Gadsden, AL. 960 1280

Stephen Digges/Getty Images  

August Doins Rodeo (Payson, AZ)

August Doins Rodeo (Payson, AZ)

Slip on a pair of boots, and head to the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. First held in 1884, the August Doins Rodeo takes place each August in Arizona’s cool mountain town of Payson. Hold on to your hats, you’re in for some heart-stopping action! 960 1280

Andy Towle/Roundup  

12 Photos
Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

On your mark, get set … it’s off to Louisville for the granddaddy of all horse races. In time-honored tradition, the 140th annual Kentucky Derby -- the first leg of the Triple Crown -- kicks off the first Saturday in May. Settle into your seat at Churchill Downs racetrack on Central Avenue, sip a mint julep and enjoy the "Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports." 960 1280

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Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza

Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza

Mom is always fussing over you, now’s your chance to turn the tables -- in style. Treat Mom to afternoon tea at The Plaza’s Tea Room. A tradition since the hotel opened in 1907, tea at this NYC landmark has inspired scenes in popular films and novels, including Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Mom can enjoy a selection of sandwiches and savories from the Fitzgerald Tea for the Ages and The New Yorker menus. 960 1280

The Plaza  

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

La lumière, la caméra, l'action! Slip on some shades, and head to the French Riviera for the largest annual showcase of cinema in the world. Don’t have a ticket to events inside the Palais des Festivals et des Congres building where the festival is held? Pas de probleme! Enjoy open-air shows at the Cinema de la Plage, and for celebrity sightings show up extra-early outside the Palais. You may just spot Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman or Steven Spielberg on this year’s red carpet. 960 1280

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Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500

Rev up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans right behind) this annual race is quite possibly the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world, attracting roughly 400,000 spectators. Head to Indianapolis the last weekend in May, and prepare for a high-speed show around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval circuit. 960 1280

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Brighton Festival, England

Brighton Festival, England

Enjoy a 3-week celebration of music, theater, dance, art and film at the 47th annual Brighton Festival. Held each May in the southeastern English city of Brighton and Hove, the gathering is the largest multi-art form festival in all of England: More than 370 performances from artists such as Sinead O’Connor and 3-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams, are slated for 2013. 960 1280

Brighton Festival  

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Take in the small-town charm of Winchester, VA, in this 6-day celebration of spring. First held in 1924, the annual festival packs a wallop of more than 30 events into its lineup: band competitions, dances, parades, carnival, a 10K race, the coronation of Queen Shenandoah and so much more, attracting crowds in excess of 250,000. 960 1280

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival   

Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank

Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank

Did winter come and go without you getting a chance to see whales? There’s still time: Between May and September, more than 400 orcas swim in the waters around Canada’s Vancouver Island. Or head to the Azores, the Portuguese archipelago about 1,000 miles from Lisbon, where sperm whales gather from May to October. Closer to home, Stellwagen Bank, a submerged sandbank between Cape Cod and Cape Ann in Massachusetts, attracts the endangered North Atlantic right whale to its waters. 960 1280

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Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

When chef Mark Abernathy of Arkansas restaurants Red Door and Loca Luna kicks the bucket, he wants to skip heaven and head straight for this food extravaganza. Such is the praise heaped on this annual fest by critically acclaimed chefs. Now in its third year, the gathering celebrates the best of Southern cuisine’s past and future, with cooking and cocktail demos, tasting tents and seminars on everything from the history of the Southern cocktail to Southern beer culture. 960 1280

AFWF/Raftermen  

National Bike Month

National Bike Month

Dust off that old bike, or buy a new one: It’s National Bike Month. Cities nationwide, including Austin, Boston, Santa Barbara, and Portland (pictured), are among the cities actively participating in the event. In San Francisco, you’ll find “energizer stations” this month, with food, drinks, red blinky lights and reflective leg bands available for bikers participating in the month-long public awareness campaign. Sounds like a great way to get free stuff -- and get in shape! 960 1280

Portland  

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo (meaning "fifth of May" in Spanish) right here in the United States. Nationwide, there are more than 120 official US celebrations, spanning 21 states, in cities such as Cleveland, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. The holiday stretches back to the first few years of the American Civil War, when Mexican-American communities sought to commemorate the causes of freedom and democracy. Head to downtown Denver for one such celebration: Here, members of a Mexican folkloric dance academy perform at the city’s Civic Center Park. 
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Vesak (Buddha Day)

Vesak (Buddha Day)

Seeking enlightenment? Celebrate Buddha’s birthday this May. Or take in the festivities as Buddhist devotees mark the occasion in Southeast Asian countries from Nepal to the Indonesian island of Java (pictured). Here, Buddhist monks pray at Borobudur, a 9th-century temple (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) that is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction. 960 1280

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Head to this amphitheater at Carlsbad Caverns National Park for a grand show: Each May Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from a large, rocky passage within Carlsbad Cavern in search of a tasty mix of insects for dinner. In case you’ve happened on this wondrous sight in southeastern New Mexico with your family (and your kids have questions), a park ranger gives an informative talk as visitors wait for the bats to come out. 960 1280

carlfbagge, flickr  

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