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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Songkran Water Festival
Songkran Water Festival

Songkran Water Festival

Known as the Water Festival by visitors, this annual festival in Thailand falls shortly after the spring equinox. Songkran (based on a Sanskrit word for “astrological passage”) is celebrated in the country as the traditional New Year’s Day. Along with visiting elders and going to a Buddhist monastery, festivities include throwing of water – in this case, with a little help from an elephant! 960 1280

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White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll

President Obama gathers with schoolchildren on the White House lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Held on Easter Monday, the yearly tradition is commonly believed to have started in 1814, organized by First Lady Dolley Madison. 960 1280

Reuters  

Semana Santa

Semana Santa

An important holiday in largely Catholic countries like Mexico and Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) showcases colorful parades, Masses, fireworks and elaborate ceremonies, like these celebrants in Roman garb placing crosses on a stone overlook. Semana Santa also coincides with spring break; you may see a sand sculpture of the Last Supper on a Mexican beach during this time! 960 1280

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Holi

Holi

Spring wouldn’t be the same in northern India without this annual festival. Celebrated by Hindus, who throw colored powder at each other, this vibrant festival of colors celebrates the season’s many hues, as well as events from Hindu mythology, such as when a devotee of Lord Vishnu was saved from death. 960 1280

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Nowruz

Nowruz

Widely referred to as the Persian New Year, this annual festival also marks the first day of spring -- which is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox (usually around March 21). Nowruz is celebrated throughout Central Asia and here, in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishek. 960 1280

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Passover

Passover

One of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, Passover commemorates the story of the ancient Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt – items on this “seder plate” showcase symbolic foods related to the story. The weeklong holiday always falls during the spring season, based on a biblical commandment: “Guard the month of spring, and make then the Passover offering.”  960 1280

Daniel Gonzalez / iStock / Thinkstock  

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Competitors race down a steep hill -- known as Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester, England -- as they vie for the day’s ultimate prize: a round of Double Gloucester cheese. This centuries-old tradition is held on the UK’s Spring Bank Holiday, attracting not only locals from the nearby village of Brockworth but also people from all over the world. 960 1280

Emma Wood / Britain On View / Getty Images  

Holla Mohalla

Holla Mohalla

One day after the Hindu festival of Holi, another big spring celebration occurs: Holla Mohalla. During this 3-day Sikh festival, celebrants showcase their martial skills in mock fights (thus, the meaning of the holiday’s name) -- and the art of fire breathing, like here on a street in the northwest Indian state of Punjab. The spring festival is also a time when followers reaffirm their dedication to Khalsa Panth (the worldwide community of Sikhs). 960 1280

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Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Eggs, eggs and more eggs -- every year, at the crack of dawn, people from the Bosnian town of Zenica gather by the Bosna River to celebrate the first day of spring. Known as Ciumburijada, or “Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” the event begins with the preparation of a traditional breakfast -- or in this case, a super-sized bowl of eggs for the masses. 960 1280

Reuters  

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night

Named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga, this traditional spring festival is celebrated across Central and Northern Europe -- exactly 6 months after All Hallows’ Eve. Among the places that hold celebrations (which include dancing and bonfires) is the open-air museum of Skansen in Stockholm, pictured here.  960 1280

Sven Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images  

Las Fallas

Las Fallas

Whimsical characters, known as fallas, are a familiar sight during this annual 5-day celebration. The origin of one of Spain’s most rowdy holidays is uncertain; some say Las Fallas began in the Middle Ages, when artisans burned pieces of wood they’d saved during the winter in celebration of the spring equinox. Over time, under the Catholic Church’s influence, the holiday has developed into a celebration to commemorate Saint Joseph. 960 1280

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Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Every year, on the 20th or 21st of March, thousands of people gather at this enormous, pre-Hispanic archeological site, roughly 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, to celebrate the spring equinox. Between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., many celebrants climb the 360 steps to the top of Pyramid of the Sun, the largest structure in the area, to get closer to portals of energy. 960 1280

REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia  

National Christmas Tree
National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

Looking for ideas on where to travel in December? Kick off the month with a tour of the National Christmas Tree. Located on the White House’s South Lawn, a towering 40-foot evergreen spruce has been a seasonal fixture of the nation’s capital since 1923. 960 1280

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San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

Keep the Christmas spirit going in San Antonio. Every December, more than a mile of the San Antonio River Walk comes alive with over 100 underwater lights, as well as LED rope lighting crossing from one side of the river to the other. 960 1280

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Hobbit Tour

Hobbit Tour

Hobbit fans, rejoice! With this month's release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien fans have a reason to follow the Hobbit trail to New Zealand. Besides being a great time to visit (December is the start of New Zealand’s summer season), the country has a Hobbit movie set tour on upper North Island. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

This December, put Colorado on your outdoors adventure map: Colorado's robust winters lure ice-fishing enthusiasts to gear up and head out for the thrill of the catch. Prime spots include Wolford Mountain Reservoir, a 1,550- acre reservoir, about 100 miles west of Denver. 960 1280

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Caribbean Cruise: Early December

Caribbean Cruise: Early December

For an impromptu December getaway, set sail for the Caribbean. The first 2 weeks of December are your best bet for bargain prices on cruises and hotels, before fares rise come Christmas and New Year’s. Combine your warm winter escape with cool events, like the Bahamas International Film Festival. 960 1280

Royal Caribbean International  

San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker

San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker

The holiday season wouldn’t be quite the same without catching a performance of The Nutcracker. We suggest heading to the City by the Bay to see the sparkling 2-act ballet performed by the San Francisco Ballet, which first introduced Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to American audiences in 1944. 960 1280

Erik Tomasson  

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

For the quintessential NYC Christmas experience, take a whirl on the ice at Rockefeller Center. The world-famous ice-skating rink at the famed commercial complex, in the heart of Manhattan, has been a fixture of Rockefeller Center since 1936. 960 1280

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Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Take in the winter solstice at Stonehenge. Every year, more than 5,000 people gather at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, to mark the time when the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. And good news in 2013: Visitors can explore a new visitor center close to the ancient site that's set to open this month. 960 1280

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Santa Claus House in North Pole

Santa Claus House in North Pole

Just where does Santa Claus live? North Pole, AK, of course. Head to this small, wintery city in the heart of Alaska to see Santa Claus House: A storefront, built in the early 1950s, it’s the spot from which the Original Letter From Santa is mailed out, proclaiming the bearer to be “on Santa’s Good List.” 960 1280

Rosie Rosenberger, flickr  

Hit the Slopes

Hit the Slopes

Hit the slopes this month at North America’s most popular ski resort. In addition to being home to more groomed terrain than any other resort in the world, Vail, CO, boasts the country’s largest ski school for all skill levels. For the more seasoned skier, head to Jackson Hole, where over 90% of the trails fall into intermediate to expert categories. 960 1280

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NOLA Christmas Bonfires

NOLA Christmas Bonfires

Add a little spice to the holiday season with a trip to The Big Easy. Come Christmas Eve, dozens of bonfires light up along the Mississippi River levee to make way for Papa Noel, as locals in bayou country call Santa. Arrive by 7 p.m. to watch the fiery feu de joie (“fires of joy”)! 960 1280

Douglas and Charlene Guilliams of Baton Rouge, LA: A Father and Daughter Photography Team  

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Come December, the City of Brotherly Love transforms itself into a Christmas Village. This annual holiday market in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park features traditional German Christmas market items, displayed by more than 60 vendors in decorated booths and tents. Get your fill of holiday goodies like gingerbread cookies and mulled wine. 960 1280

Christmas Village in Philadelphia  

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Learn dog sledding in … Chicago? Yep, for outdoor winter adventure, head to the Windy City’s Northerly Island, site of the 9th annual Polar Adventure Days. Beginning in early December, the family-friendly event includes a toddler zone with outdoor “ice fishing,” an REI winter activity station and a dog-sledding demo with huskies. 960 1280

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days  

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  

Photos

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  

15 Photos
Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle

Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle

The sun shines at … midnight. Take in the magical sight of the midnight sun this June in places like Hornstrandir, Iceland’s northernmost peninsula, just a few miles from the Arctic Circle. Here, the sun is visible for 24 consecutive hours, as the sun barely disappears below the horizon. 960 1280

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Nude Bathing, Iceland

Nude Bathing, Iceland

Keep Father Time -- and maybe a few wrinkles -- at bay with a nude dip in a balmy hot spring. That personal prescription for wellness comes straight from Icelandic lore, and true to form, Icelanders take a nude dip in hot springs and the surrounding sea every June 24. They also live long lives. Coincidence? 960 1280

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Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

See the Purple People Eater, Sushi the Flying Fish and other colorful balloon characters soar through the skies of California’s wine country. Since its start 23 years ago, this annual summer event in the town of Windsor, CA, has gone on to draw balloon pilots from all over the country. You can also enjoy a tethered ride, hovering 50 feet above the ground. 960 1280

star5112, flickr  

Destination Wedding in …

Destination Wedding in …

Getting married this month? Don’t just dream of being a June bride, make it a reality in some of the most weather-perfect places to tie the knot this month. Our friends at weathertrends360 have forecasted June’s top 5 clear-sky destinations: Bar Harbor, ME (best time June 21-30); Orlando (June 1-8); NYC (June 21-30); Napa Valley (June 9-16); and San Francisco (June 10-17). 960 1280

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Summer Holiday in Newquay, UK

Summer Holiday in Newquay, UK

If you love to surf and travel, combine both passions with a trip to this seaside town in southwest England. June kicks off the best time of year to visit Newquay, widely touted as the surf capital of the UK. Situated on a gorgeous stretch of the Atlantic Coast, the town boasts 9 long and easily accessible beaches – head to Fistral Beach, home to some of the best breaks in the area. 960 1280

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Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez

If all things French are calling your name, book a trip to Saint Tropez. June is one of the best times of year to savor this glamorous seaside town on the French Riviera, home to beautiful beaches like the golden-sand stretch of Plage Port Grimaud. Plan your last-minute getaway with our travel deals experts. 960 1280

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Gay Pride Celebrations

Gay Pride Celebrations

Celebrate freedom (and some really wild getups) in month-long gay pride celebrations worldwide. LGBT pride parades from San Francisco to Sydney are the highlight of the festivities, which hearken back to the days of gay resistance to police aggression in June 1969 at NYC’s Stonewall Inn, now a National Historic Landmark. 960 1280

Reuters  

Midsummer Festival, Sweden

Midsummer Festival, Sweden

Let the sun shine in! When the summer solstice arrives … and the Earth’s semi-axis is most inclined toward the sun … head to Sweden for the country’s traditional Midsummer Day, in late June. Here, locals carry heart-shaped wreaths as part of the festivities in the Swedish town of Leksand, about 150 miles from Stockholm. 960 1280

Reuters  

Kamehameha Day

Kamehameha Day

Get out your grass skirt out … and get ready to hula! It’s Kamehameha Day! Each June, Hawaii honors the monarch -- depicted here in a towering bronze statue in downtown Honolulu -- who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaii and brought coffee and pineapple to its shores. Plan your Hawaii getaway with our Big Island Weekend Guide. 960 1280

Daniel Ramirez, flickr   

Philippines Independence Day

Philippines Independence Day

Head to this archipelago of 7,107 islands in the western Pacific for the country’s national holiday marking its call for independence, first proclaimed in June 1898, and finally realized in 1946. Relax in a hillside villa on the small island of Boracay, or book a stay at El Nido Resorts, located on various islands in the area. 960 1280

REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo  

Katmai National Park, Alaska

Katmai National Park, Alaska

There’s only 1 place in the world to see this iconic image: Southern Alaska. And there’s only 1 time of year to see it: Late June through the end of July. Head to Katmai National Park to see some very hungry brown bears enjoy a feast of sockeye salmon that make their annual migratory run from the northern Pacific Ocean into park waters -- Brooks Camp is the place to the see this unrivaled nature show. 960 1280

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South Florida’s Summer Savings

South Florida’s Summer Savings

You can’t jump into June without jumping into South Florida. Seriously, now is the time to enjoy discounted rates (in some cases, up to 50%) at area hotels and resorts. See how to do Miami and Fort Lauderdale on a budget, and for popular, family-friendly beach vibes, check out our Delray Beach Guide. 960 1280

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National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

June kicks off hurricane season in the Caribbean, but don’t let that stop you from savoring Caribbean heritage … right here in America. President Obama has named it National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and among the festivities happening nationwide is the DC Caribbean Carnival, an annual parade and festival held in late June. 960 1280

Alex Barth, flickr  

Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

If you’re hungry for snow, hightail it to this annual festival in New Zealand, which attracts thousands of skiers and snowboarders to the blindingly white slopes surrounding the resort town of Queenstown. A big draw is Coronet Peak, located 12 miles north of town, where powdery terrain comes courtesy of some of the country’s best snowmaking facilities. 960 1280

Queenstown Winter Festival  

Spoleto Festival, Charleston

Spoleto Festival, Charleston

Enjoy one of the world’s major performing arts festivals this June in Charleston, SC. Founded in 1977, the Spoleto Festival was the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti. The 17-day-long fest, named in honor of the ancient Italian city of Spoleto, showcases established and emerging artists through more than 150 performances of jazz, theater, dance, opera and classical music. 960 1280

Julia Lynn  

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. This year?s lineup includes rock band Kings of Leon, rapper Eminem and newcomer 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! 960 1280

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PGA Championship (Louisville, KY)

PGA Championship (Louisville, KY)

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 Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. 960 1280

PGA of America / Getty Images  

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

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Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Shake, rattle and roll! Memphis, TN, marks its annual Elvis Week celebration each August -- and this year, Elvis fans are all shook up with something extra-special: it?s the 60th anniversary year of rock ?n? roll. Another big draw: 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. Last year’s cash prize totaled more than $24 million -- see the high-stakes action in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY. 960 1280

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 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

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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

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