Things to Do in May

While you wait for summer’s official arrival, there are still plenty of things heating up in May. Don’t miss May’s must-dos like the Kentucky Derby, National Bike Month, Cinco de Mayo and more.

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Colosseum

Colosseum

Rome's most enduring icon is undoubtedly the Colosseum. 960 1280

Sborisov / iStock / Thinkstock  

Colosseum

Colosseum

Built between A.D. 70 and 80 A.D., it was in use for some 500 years and held nearly 50,000 spectators.
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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Peru's Machu Picchu is thought to have been a sacred center for the nearby Incan capital of Cusco. 960 1280

Vitmark / iStock / Getty Images  

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

A close-up of the living quarters of Machu Picchu, built at the peak of the Incan Empire in the mid-1400s, shows the advanced tiered construction and stone architecture.
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Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

The genius and adaptability of Mayan culture can be seen in the ruins of Chichen Itza, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. 960 1280

Robivamos / iStock / Thinkstock  

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

The most familiar ruin at the site is El Caracol? This sophisticated astronomical observatory.
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Carlos Delgado [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

El-Deir Monastery

El-Deir Monastery

Structures carved into stone and the El-Deir monastery helped Petra, Jordan earn its fame. 960 1280

Reynold Mainse / Design Pics / Perspective / Getty Images  

El-Deir Monastery

El-Deir Monastery

El-Deir, built during the first century, is the second most visited building in Petra.
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Bernard Gagnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is actually a succession of walls spanning approximately 4,000 miles. 960 1280

topgold via [CC BY-SA 2.0]  

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the world’s longest manmade structure.
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Georgio (Own work (Photo personnelle)) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons  

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Agra, India's Taj Mahal is a mausoleum commissioned for the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. 960 1280

Turtix / iStock / Getty Images  

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

The Gateway to the Taj Mahal rises nearly 100-feet high and separates the gardens from the forecourt.
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Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

The Christ the Redeemer statue has loomed over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from upon Corcovado mountain since 1931. 960 1280

Christian Adams / Getty Images  

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

The Art Deco-style Christ the Redeemer statue lights up the sky.
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Otavio Campos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

“For a taste of some serious amore, jet-set to the city of Firenze, where couples canoodle in piazzas, sharing bites of creamy gelato and soaking up the warm sunshine. Stroll across the quaint Ponte Vecchio with your someone special-- perhaps they’ll splurge on a gift from one of the iconic jewelry shops that line the bridge. Single women, beware: As you wander the streets, you’re sure to hear an Italian man call out to you, “Excuse me, I think you dropped something!” When you turn around, concerned and confused, they’ll laugh and say, ‘You dropped my heart!’” -- Allee, Producer 960 1280

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Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica, California

“My favorite thing about spring is the changing of the weather, so I choose to be outside and by the water. My ideal spot for a spring fling would be Santa Monica, CA. I love Santa Monica’s quieter areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk area, with lesser-known yet out-of-this-world restaurants that are home to memorable dishes. My first time having barbecued tofu was off the city’s Main Street. The restaurant, located behind a wooden fence, had no name on the front. Ask around. Folks will know!” -- Rani, Managing Producer 960 1280

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Joe's Valley, Utah

Joe's Valley, Utah

“Spring is the perfect time for a climbing adventure in Joe’s Valley, Utah. With ideal springtime temps, this is the best season to enjoy bouldering, camping and other outdoor fun. Located about 2 hours north of Moab, this is one of the world’s premier bouldering destinations, offering hundreds of sandstone boulders for climbers ranging from novice to professional. There is no better place to see the beauty of Southern Utah.” -- Arthur, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Arthur Hsu  

Charleston

Charleston

"Blooming magnolia trees and 75 to 80 degree weather make Charleston a great spring destination. You'll enjoy a mix of lowcountry culture, mouthwatering cuisine and beautiful beaches. And what could feel more like spring than strolling through garden plantations sipping on a sweet tea cocktail? It seems we aren't the only ones who have this Southern belle on our radar lately. Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards just named Charleston the 'No.1 City in America.'" -- Kathleen, Producer 960 1280

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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“When picking my perfect spring fling, my choice would have to be a road trip to Myrtle Beach. With over 100 courses, this stretch of coastal South Carolina is one of, if not the premier, destination for golf on the East Coast. Grab a few sixers, light up a couple of cigars and hit the links with some of your closest buddies -- it's the ideal mancation spring fling.” -- Ben, Producer 960 1280

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Paris

Paris

"I never knew the charm of spring … till April in Paris." American songwriter Vernon Duke's famous lyrics about the City of Light are so true. Paris' charm lies in its beautiful gardens, like the Jardin des Tuileries, where it's not uncommon to see couples and a group of good friends lying on the grass, chatting, sipping wine and snacking on a fresh baguette and cheese. Take a stroll by the Seine, visit the open-air market on Rue Montorgueil or people watch outside a café in Le Marais. Romance and a fun adventure are always around the corner no matter where you are in this historic city." -- Kwin, Managing Producer 960 1280

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Washington, DC

Washington, DC

“Spring is a great time to visit DC’s National Mall. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the Tidal Basin, the reservoir bordered by thousands of cherry blossoms in full bloom this time of year. Also, be sure not to miss the Tulip Library on the north side of the basin, where you’ll find nearly 100 varieties of tulips. And come nighttime, stop by the World War II Memorial, where you can sit by the edge of the cascading fountain at its center, resting your head on the shoulder of your evening date … who may just turn into more than a spring fling.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

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San Francisco

San Francisco

"My latest spring fling took me to San Francisco -- a city ideal for any gastronomically-inclined couple, thanks to its plethora of great dinner date spots. From the hole-in-the-wall Ramen Underground to the farm-to-table-fresh Super Duper Burger, you'll indulge in basically the best food ever. After stopping for tea and cookies at the picturesque Japanese Tea Garden and a scoop of "Chocolate Smoked Sea Salt" ice cream at Humphry Slocombe, go for a bike ride down the Embarcadero or head back across the Golden Gate Bridge for a hike through the Marin Headlands to work off your week of foodie fun." -- Amanda, Producer 960 1280

Amanda DiGiondomenico  

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

"I've heralded Charlottesville's charms before, but hear me out on why this college town is the perfect springtime getaway. Starting in April, you can catch the free concert series, Fridays After Five, and then dine alfresco on the Historic Downtown Mall. Round out the weekend with a bagel at Bodo's, a historic tour of Monticello and a drink on the patio of Blue Mountain Brewery or glass of wine at King Family Vineyards, with the Blue Ridge Mountains just beyond." - Sara, Producer 960 1280

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Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, welcomes more than 2.6 million visitors per year. 960 1280

Dean Franklin, flickr  

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

John Roebling designed the Brooklyn Bridge hoping it would be perceived as a great work of art. It now is.
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Frederick Bass / Getty Images  

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

It doesn't matter where in the world people come from, one glimpse of this and they know they're in Washington, DC.
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Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images  

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is the first non-building structure to receive the "Distinguished Building Award." 960 1280

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Space Needle

Space Needle

Seattle's 605-foot-tall Space Needle is designed to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour.
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Tim Miley / Moment / Getty Images  

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Built during the Great Depression, New York City's Empire State Building is a work of determination and pride. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet/Stone/Getty Images  

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

It took 5 years to complete the mammoth Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border.
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Getty Images  

Photos

Madrid

Madrid

“Spanish people are sexy in general, but I love the locals in Madrid. In addition to good genes, they just have this confidence that oozes sex appeal. I think it's enhanced by the city's architecture, which could easily be the backdrop of a fashion shoot or fragrance campaign. It's just very romantic and Goth and moody. Throw in some flamenco dancers, soccer players, accents and dramatic hand gestures -- whatever it is, everything here is sexy to me.” – Jimmy Im 960 1280

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Stockholm

Stockholm

“Slim, tall and impeccably dressed, the people of Stockholm are more diverse than the blond-haired, blue-eyed stereotype would lead you to believe. Dressed-to-kill publishing types frequent the areas around Stureplan and trendy restaurants like Ekstedt, while the look in music and cafe-mad Sodermalm slants far more hipster. And while Swedes aren't exactly the outgoing-with-strangers types, they do love to practice their English with native speakers -- use it to your advantage to make friends.” – Terry Ward 960 1280

Nicho Södling -- Stockholm Visitors Board  

Italy

Italy

“Despite stretches of living, working and traveling across Italy, I never tire of ogling Italians; they exude a pervasive, innate sexiness. Whether they're -- against all odds -- making red-linen pants look seductive, casually sipping an espresso while perusing La Repubblica newspaper or being freakishly dexterous by simultaneously chattering on a cell phone, smoking a cigarette and eating a gelato while wearing a micro-mini skirt and careening through Rome's streets on a Vespa -- Italianos are dead sexy.” – Valerie Conners 960 1280

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Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

"The the fun-loving, hedonist vibe of Tel Aviv's residents is definitely sexy. They don't need a special occasion to stay out until dawn any day of the week -- whether it's lounging inside a cozy wine bar, sipping cocktails at a glamorous restaurant created by a celebrity chef or rocking out to a deejay at a gritty nightclub. Residents take their leisure time very seriously and seem to pursue pleasure with a passion. Observing how they drink up the present moment despite living in a sometimes rocky corner of the world gives them a seductive charm that's all their own." –- Lost Girl Holly Corbett 960 1280

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Argentina

Argentina

“Argentina’s cowboys, known as gauchos, make my world’s sexiest list. On a trip to a ranch outside Buenos Aires, I was one of many women swooning over Luca. He excelled at a gaucho game called the ring race, where gauchos race on horseback to capture a small hanging ring on the end of a metal rod. When they capture the ring, they place it on the finger of a lady of their choosing. Every woman on that ranch, married or single, wanted Luca to put a ring on it.” -- Robin Bennefield 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Mexico City


Mexico City


"As one of the largest cities in the world, maybe the odds of having the sexiest people are simply this city's favor. Or maybe it is the outcome of the mixing of native Aztec and Mayan cultures with old world Spanish that has taken place over the centuries. Or maybe its the language. Even when you don't understand what is being said, it makes your heart beat faster from the mere sound of it. Regardless of the reason, this city's Latinos and Latinas are as spicy as its cuisine, as sultry as its music and as captivating as its history.” -- Troy Petenbrink 960 1280

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Rome

Rome

“Perhaps I’m biased since my father’s from Italy, but a gene pool that turned out Roman native Sophia Loren is nothing if not sexy. And anyone who has seen La Dolce Vita may never look at the Trevi Fountain quite the same again. Add the art, passion, history, fashion and food–-even the language is romantic--and you have a city that pulses with excitement. Trim, tawny Romans dress beautifully and embody the idea of ‘bella figura.’ I’m pretty sure I have a good idea of what many Romans are up to during their daily siestas.” -- Rina Rapuano 960 1280

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Brazil

Brazil

“The sexiest people in the world can be found in that renowned epicenter of bulbous backsides, Brazil. The über-toned beach bodies and striking coal-to-cream complexion speak to Brazil’s virtually endless coastline and centuries-old history of intermixing and immigration. And there’s the pervasive friendliness and joie de vivre that Brazilians seem to be born with, resulting in people who are both sexy and sweet.” -- Ernest White II 960 1280

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Uruguay

Uruguay

“Even though I'm Argentine, I would always take the ‘Buquebus’ over to Punta del Este, Uruguay, during my winter break. I don't know whether it’s because a lot of the polo players, models, celebrities and the super posh vacation there, but every break I spent there was always amongst a sea of beautiful men and women. I now make sure to hit a month-long boot camp before I go, just so I don't feel so out of place!” -– Marianela Pereyra 960 1280

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New York City

New York City

“It may not always be conventional, but sexy is waiting around every corner in New York. I love never knowing whom I'll meet next here, be it a gaggle of top international models or a crazy person channeling alien wisdom. And for me, New Yorkers get extra-sexy points just for living in this tough but glorious melting pot, where beauty and style take an infinite variety of forms, and span the widest spectrums of class and nationality. As Garbo well proved, this is a city where even the most extraordinarily sexy can blend in as just another New Yorker.” -– Dan Allen 960 1280

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For Adventure Seekers: Telluride, CO

For Adventure Seekers: Telluride, CO

Experienced skiers can take it to the next level by spending the day heli-skiing, which, like it sounds, is downhill skiing on a course accessible only by helicopter. For $1,235, Telluride Helitrax, in operation since 1982, offers daylong excursions that include 6 ski runs, a guide, equipment and food. Helicopters take groups of 4 to an elevation of at least 10,000 feet, where skiers are surrounded by majestic backcountry terrain while on empty slopes. If that’s not enough, customized tours are also available. 960 1280

Jeff Cricco/Telluride Helitrax  

For Culture Vultures: NYC

For Culture Vultures: NYC

Start the clock by catching a matinee of Hamilton, Broadway’s hottest hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton. Plan ahead, since tickets tend to sell out months in advance. Cap off the day with an adults-only sleepover at the American Museum of Natural History, where guests can enjoy live music, presentations and the chance to explore the museum all night long. The $350 price includes a buffet dinner, cots and more. 960 1280

© AMNH\R. Mickens  

For Girlfriend Getaways: Miami

For Girlfriend Getaways: Miami

Sunshine, spa treatments and drinks are all that are needed for a quick getaway, and one can find all that and more at The Standard in Miami Beach. It’s removed from the madding crowd, and guests can luxuriate in a Turkish Hamam and take a yoga classes by the water. Leave time to head to nearby Miami Beach for dinner at celeb hotspot Matador Room, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s latest Miami venture offering Latin-fusion fare. Sit on the terrace for ocean views and lush, foliage surroundings. Follow up with poolside drinks at the sophisticated Delano South Beach, where you can camp out in a lantern-lit private cabana before it’s time to head home. 960 1280
For Foodies: Culinary Institute of America: California, New York, Texas

For Foodies: Culinary Institute of America: California, New York, Texas

Boasting such notable alum as Anthony Bourdain and Cat Cora, many a foodie has daydreamed about enrolling at one of the nation’s best culinary schools. While that’s not realistic for most, what is possible is taking a half-day cooking class. Each location offers a bevy of year-round options, from global street food to holiday favorites. Classes include lunch, CIA apron and chef’s hat. For the ultimate experience, 2- to 5-day boot camps are a must for when time isn’t of the essence. Of course, the upside to taking an afternoon class, particularly at the CIA in California, is the opportunity to have dinner just a quick 20-minute ride away at French Laundry, considered one of the top 10 restaurants in the US. The prix fixe chef’s tasting menu costs $295 -- be sure to book 2 months ahead. 960 1280

By Ɱ (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons  

For Family-Friendly Fun: Mohonk Mountain House

For Family-Friendly Fun: Mohonk Mountain House

This sprawling, fairy tale-esque castle in the scenic Hudson Valley literally has something for everyone. Rock climbing, horseback riding and golf are among the warmer-weather options at Mohonk Mountain House, while ice skating, snow tubing and cross-country skiing are among the winter activities. There’s also an award-winning spa, watersports and a host of fitness classes. (And that’s still not everything.) Trying to cram as many activities as possible into 24 hours is a worthwhile challenge. 960 1280

By Fred Hsu on en.wikipedia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons  

For Romantics: New Orleans

For Romantics: New Orleans

New Orleans has no shortage of romantic neighborhoods and experiences, and the food-and-music scene has some of the best ways to experience them. Start with a late breakfast at Café Amelie and sit outside in the greenery-filled courtyard for a secret garden feel. Stroll through the historic French Quarter to work up an appetite for the Creole jazz brunch at Muriel’s Jackson Square, or simply get a drink at Muriel’s bordello-themed Séance Lounge (ask about the ghost). Don’t miss dinner at top-rated French restaurant August before collapsing into a plush seat at the intimate Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse 960 1280
For Shopaholics: Los Angeles

For Shopaholics: Los Angeles

Bypass the ubiquitous luxury chains on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and head to unique boutiques selling hard-to-find favorites. Fred Segal, Maxfield, Kitson and Madison are among the old-guard standouts, selling on-trend, high-end designer wares and more. Visit newer trendsetters include Opening Ceremony and TENOVERSIX for well-curated selections of the hottest designers and up-and-comers. Shoe addicts will find nirvana among the wall of shoes at Kathryn Amberleigh. Fans of the offbeat shouldn’t miss Just One Eye, a conceptual space that’s part art gallery, part fashion boutique, or The Well, a combination boutique/hair salon that’s perfect for multitaskers. Before heading out, pop into Poketo for one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone back home. 960 1280

Courtesy of Poketo  

For the Unconventional: Quebec City

For the Unconventional: Quebec City

Even though Quebec City is impossibly charming in the warmer months, it’s downright magical in the winter. Warm up with high tea at the iconic Château Frontenac Hotel in Old Quebec. While it’s tempting to stay there, the highlight is spending a night at Hotel de Glace, a seasonal ice hotel just outside downtown Quebec, and the only one in North America. Book the Adventure Package and squeeze in dogsledding for extra bragging rights. 960 1280
For Animal Lovers: Grand Canyon

For Animal Lovers: Grand Canyon

It’s one thing to experience the Grand Canyon from a prime viewing spot, and another from the saddle of a mule. While 3-hour trips are available, opt for the once-in-a-lifetime overnight ride to Phantom Ranch, a rustic lodge located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The trail ride each way takes about 5 hours and includes rest stops and lunch.  960 1280
For Sports Fanatics: Super Bowl

For Sports Fanatics: Super Bowl

Yes, Super Bowl tickets are notoriously hard to score, even when it’s not the 50th anniversary of the game. Luckily, it’s not impossible with QuintEvents, the official provider of Super Bowl packages. To really go over the top for this year’s game in Santa Clara, CA, on Feb. 7, choose the “On the Fifty” package, which nets you seats on the 50-yard line, the chance to meet players and cheerleaders and get autographs, and access to a private club serving gourmet food and drink before, during and after the game. Best of all, this package can be purchased for just the day of the game -- for a mere $13,000.    960 1280

"To go back to Australia. Went as a teenager, but want to return to Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef." -- Iryna H. 960 1280

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"My bucket list is to visit every theme park (Six Flags, Cedar Point) in the world." -- Justin E. 960 1280

Cedar Point  

"'Wunderhiking' in the Black Forest of Germany. You hike from hotel to hotel, you have dinner and sleep at your destination, have breakfast in the morning and down the road. The hotel staff move your belongings/purchases from hotel to hotel each day for you (rental car too if required to end destination). There are museums, waterfalls and of course it is Germany, local breweries in every burg! Something like 18 hotels participate, that means you could hike for 17 days!" -- Jon B. 960 1280

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"Riding a camel through the moroccan desert! Hot Air Ballon ride over No.Cal vineyards." -- Leighann W. 960 1280

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"Tokyo, see the sights, eat the outrageous seafood, make new friends, and perform stand up comedy at the Tokyo comedy store." -- Dustin M. 960 1280

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"Fiji, New Zealand, and France. Ok, I mostly just want to eat and drink my way through France ..." --Tim F. 960 1280

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"I have been to Maui eighteen times and never got tired of it. I am 69 years old and can't make places to leave this earth until I have been to Italy!!! Have visited the carribean many times US Virgin Islands, Mexico, all the islands, Florida many times. But still don't feel that I'm finished until I see Italy." -- Peggy H. 960 1280

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"Peru. I would give anything to visit Machu Pichu!" -- Beth H. 960 1280

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"A month in the South Pacific, The Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul, are very high in my list." -- Kerry D. 960 1280

Orient Express Hotels Ltd.  

"I'd love to visit the lands of my ancestors, Ireland, Germany and Denmark, Top 3 spots on my list" -- James F. 960 1280

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"Just checked two off the list! Grand Canyon and Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson ... :)" -- Cherylene S. 960 1280

Tanque Verde Ranch  

"So far, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Tuscany have been my favorites. Would love to be on a houseboat in Kerala or Vietnam. Looking forward to Oktoberfest in Munchen this year!" -- Mary A. 960 1280

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"Mine was cooking steak & marshmallows on flowing Lava in Hawaii! Anyone going to Hawaii give it a go!!" -- The Naked Traveler 960 1280

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