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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november, things to do, arts and culture, sports, activities, macy's thanksgiving day parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Head to the Big Apple for Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The three-hour event starts at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, but better come early (and wear warm clothes); crowds start arriving hours earlier to stake out a spot. If a 5 a.m. wakeup call’s not your thing, these NYC Hotels offer great views of the parade’s lineup of floats, clowns and more. 960 1280

TIMOTHY A. CLARY / Getty Images  

Breeders' Cup

Breeders' Cup

Wondering where to travel in November? Start by taking in two days of action-packed thoroughbred horse races. The annual Breeders’ Cup World Championship kicks off this month at California’s oldest racetrack, Santa Anita Park. Better grab your tickets fast, though; attendance is usually much higher than other stake races in North America.
 960 1280

Rob Carr / Getty Images  

Movember

Movember


Bros! Ditch the razor for a month-long celebration of some fierce facial hair. Movember (the month formerly known as November) unfolds with dozens of runs and gala parties nationwide to raise awareness of men’s health issues. That spells one perfect excuse to finally try out that wicked handlebar ’stache.
960 1280

Sasha Haagensen / Getty Images  

The Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead

Families decorate the graves of loved ones  throughout Mexico as part of this annual national holiday. A blend of pre-Columbian and Catholic traditions, Day of the Dead may sound notoriously spooky to outsiders. But to those who celebrate it, the day offers a way to reflect and share in treasured memories of loved ones through acts of commemoration, including making altars like this.
960 1280

steve bridger, flickr  

Black Friday

Black Friday

America at its finest, folks. Yes, you too can trample over terrified cashiers in pursuit of a bargain HD TV. If you prefer something a little more orderly this Black Friday, head to some of America’s best shopping malls. Our top pick: Mall of America, home to more than 180 retailers. Bring your ID and some good walking shoes. Plus better remember where you parked! 960 1280

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images  

Busiest Travel Days, Start Planning!

Busiest Travel Days, Start Planning!

Notoriously long lines and long waits: The day before Thanksgiving ranks as the busiest travel day of the year. Drive, fly or take the train -- we don’t care how you get here, just as long as you arrive in notorious aplomb and style (no fugly Thanksgiving sweaters, please). 960 1280

John Moore/Getty Images  

NYC Marathon

NYC Marathon

Lace up your sneakers for the New York City Marathon. More than 50,000 people compete in the world’s largest marathon. Cheer on the participants as they race through the city’s five boroughs and head to the finish line if you’re not competing in the 26-mile run. 960 1280

JEWEL SAMAD / Getty Images  

NASCAR Sprint for the Cup

NASCAR Sprint for the Cup

Feeling the need for speed? NASCAR enthusiasts will feel it in droves at one of the country's best NASCAR racetracks, the Homestead-Miami Speedway. This month, the motor racing track hosts the annual NASCAR Sprint for the Cup, in which racing’s top drivers will compete for the championship trophy – it all unfolds in the Ford EcoBoost 400 season finale. 960 1280

Orlando Sentinel / Getty Images  

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

Heroic resolve in the midst of often notorious treatment defines Native American Heritage Month. Kick off this special month of commemoration -- and appreciation -- with a visit to this dazzling waterfall, tucked in a land in the heart of the Grand Canyon that’s been home to the Havasupai American Indian tribe for nearly 1,000 years.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

Notoriously passionate wine and food lovers descend on Southern California each November for the region’s largest festival of its kind. How notorious are we talking? Well, let’s just say any festival that lures some of the best national chefs, local culinary stars, and celebrated winemakers and brewmasters means serious gastronomic pleasure is in order. 960 1280

Ken Loyst  

Fun Fun Fun Fest

Fun Fun Fun Fest

The darling of independent festivals for music lovers and music-makers alike, Fun Fun Fun Fest has some notoriously serious creds. Ever since its launch in 2006, this annual festival has skyrocketed beyond its downtown Austin roots to world-renowned status, attracting artists and their fans from around the globe.
960 1280

incase, flickr  

Deer Hunting Season

Deer Hunting Season

Notorious to some, delectably yummy to others, deer-hunting season begins with a bang -- sorry, Bambi -- come November. That’s because the month is prime deer-mating season: Male bucks are often so distracted by the urge to mate they may not detect the sound of Grandpa Earl’s carbine locking and loading off in the distance. Head to states like Kentucky, New Hampshire and Minnesota for the hunt.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

On a sunny autumn day in November 1963, America’s love affair with Camelot came to a shattering end. Just weeks before his assassination, JFK visited Arlington National Cemetery and, standing atop a hill, said he could spend eternity there. Today, he is one of two presidents buried on the 600-acre grounds, an eternal flame placed by his widow Jackie to outshine one of the most notorious moments in U.S. history. 960 1280

Anna Fox, flickr  

Chicago’s The Food Film Festival

Chicago’s The Food Film Festival

Food in the theater?! The sight may be a notorious no-no to crabby old docents, but at this annual festival, the paired enjoyment of food and film -- from the comfort of a theater seat -- is a must. The annual event, now in its third year, invites audience members to actually taste some of the dishes they see before them on the big screen.
960 1280

Food Film Festival  

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Mmm, mmm, good! Perfectly succulent (when baked right), the turkey takes center stage at many holiday tables. America cooks up more than 45 million turkeys for Thanksgiving, plus another 22 million come Christmastime, which adds up to a whole lotta post-meal sleepiness.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

The Rockettes

The Rockettes

Let’s go girls! Those sky-high kicks, those naughty smiles -- oh, it certainly wouldn’t be a notoriously fun November without the Rockettes. During the holiday season, the legendary dance company kicks it into high gear with five shows a day, seven days a week. See the grand show unfold in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, presented at Radio City Music Hall. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Armenia

Armenia

Despite TV evidence to the contrary, the Kardashians didn't descend from a marketing genius in the sky. Turns out, the family of their late father, Robert Kardashian, is of Armenian descent. In April 2015, Khloe, Kim, Kanye and baby North visited the nation. While there, they connected with cousins, took photos at the Mother Armenia statue, and met with Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan. 960 1280

Alexander Ishchenko  

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

What could top a rehearsal dinner at the Palace of Versailles? A wedding at sprawling Forte di Belvedere in Florence. The 16th-century fortress once protected Italy's iconic Medici family. Fast-forward hundreds of years, and it now holds the dubious record of safeguarding the Kardashians' family and friends from the paparazzi's prying eyes. 960 1280

Christian Kober  

Versailles, France

Versailles, France

It should come as no surprise that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West would hold part of their wedding — the rehearsal dinner — in one of the world's most lavish palaces: Versailles, home of French kings and the famously doomed queen Marie Antoinette. The families and their celebrity friends enjoyed a performance by Lana Del Rey and a fireworks display over the palace grounds. 960 1280

onairda/istockphoto  

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

Thailand's fascinating culture, exquisite arts, sparkling beaches — and affordability — typically attract backpackers on a budget. But no expense was spared when the Kardashians paid a visit; the family stayed at Iniala Beach House near Phuket, a hideaway that cost them $150,000 per week. 960 1280

Poluyanenko/istockphoto  

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

History lurks around every scenic corner in Vienna, home to the opulent Hofburg palaces, the Vienna Boys' Choir and a wealth of cafes serving delicate pastries. Kim and Kris visited the storied city in 2014, when Kim was paid $500,000 to attend the Vienna Opera Ball as businessman Richard Lugner's date. 960 1280

TomasSereda/istockphoto  

Greece

Greece

Not even the Greeks were safe from the Kardashians: The family vacationed there in 2013, leaving their mark on the pretty island jewels of Santorini and Mykonos. Whether staying in luxury at the Mykonos Retreat and the Volcano View Hotel or horseback riding on the beach, the family made the most of this Grecian getaway. 960 1280

rj lerich/istockphoto  

London

London

A hop across the pond proved to be drama-filled for the Kardashians when Kim, Rob and Scott made their way to England. Kim jetted around the city for various appearances and found time to meet up with her then-beau (and now-husband), Kanye West. 960 1280

Sergey Borisov  

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

The Kardashians graced the Dominican Republic's tropical shores in Season 7, when Kim chose the popular destination for a family vacation. The clan stayed at the luxurious Casa de Campo, where a stunning villa, golf course, pool and other amenities kept them occupied. 960 1280

radovan/istockphoto  

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

More than 100 postcard-perfect islands constitute French Polynesia; Bora Bora may be the most popular of the lot. A brilliant blue lagoon and marine-life-filled reef surround the island, which hosted the Kardashians on a family getaway in Season 6. 960 1280

mvaligursky/istockphoto  

Miami

Miami

Miami's turquoise waters and colorful nightclub scene lured the Kardashians to its sexy shores. In fact, the draw proved so great that the sisters filmed the spin-off shows "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami" and "Kourtney and Kim Take Miami," which followed their antics as they opened and managed their Dash store in South Beach. 960 1280

Veni/istockphoto  

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California

Tucked between the looming Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean's crashing waves, Santa Barbara rightfully earns its reputation as one of California's prettiest little towns. The Kardashian sisters found themselves here for a girls' weekend before Kourtney gave birth to son Mason. 960 1280

Solidago/istockphoto  

New York City

New York City

When they're not stealing the spotlight on the West Coast, the family frequently heads east to film and frolic in New York City. It's here that daughter Kendall Jenner has launched her career as a fashion model, and two of her older half sisters opened another Dash store and eventually filmed "Kourtney and Kim Take New York." 960 1280

FrankvandenBergh/istockphoto  

San Diego

San Diego

Home to one of California's best stretches of beach, a world-famous zoo and a raucous nightlife scene, San Diego seems like a natural fit for the Kardashians. The family filmed here while visiting Kris' mom, and in 2014, Kim and Kourtney took their kids to the San Diego Zoo. 960 1280

Ron Thomas; Ron and Patty Thomas  

New Orleans

New Orleans

Plenty of debauchery could be had in New Orleans' bars, but when the Kardashians visited the city in Season 2, they instead hit a charity pool tournament organized by Reggie Bush and, later, met a family affected by Hurricane Katrina. 960 1280

Alina Solovyova-Vincent  

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado

From Aspen to Telluride, Vail to Steamboat Springs, Colorado boasts some of the best skiing in the United States. In Season 2, the Kardashians took advantage of the state's fresh powder in Breckenridge. They arrived after mom Kris Jenner deemed a group vacation necessary to bring some semblance of peace to her bickering daughters. 960 1280

kmaassrock/istockphoto  

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … unless it's being filmed for the Kardashians' reality TV show. Not surprisingly, Sin City has been a favored locale for the family. In Season 4, the gang traveled there for Kim's 29th birthday and dealt with drunken shenanigans. Then, in Season 9, Kourtney trekked there hoping to catch beau Scott Disick in a lie. 960 1280

franckreporter/istockphoto  

Mexico

Mexico

When you live the luxe life, a trip to Mexico is no biggie. In the show's first season, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe made their way south of the border for a "Girls Gone Wild" photo shoot; the sisters also returned to Cabo San Lucas in Season 2. 960 1280

James Michael Kruger  

Los Angeles/Calabasas

Los Angeles/Calabasas

Outside Los Angeles lies Calabasas, an ultra-posh suburban enclave that’s home to the Kardashian family. Exclusive gated communities fill the tiny region, which has also been home to celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Drake. 960 1280

LPETTET/istockphoto  

London
London

London

London, England
When the 2012 Summer Olympics get rolling in July, millions of visitors will descend on the British capital. The first event ticket application window has closed, but officials plan to release more during the winter. While you’re in London, don’t miss the Making of Harry Potter studio tour at Leavesden Studios, where all 8 Harry Potter films were shot. The tour officially opens in spring 2012.
960 1280

Getty  

Necker Island

Necker Island

Necker Island
Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive island getaway in the British Virgin Islands suffered a devastating fire in summer 2011 that destroyed the resort’s Great House. Actress Kate Winslet famously helped save Branson’s 90-year-old mother from the inferno, carrying her down slippery stairs in the midst of hurricane-force rain and wind. The Great House is scheduled to be rebuilt by the end of 2012, and in the meantime, 7 luxurious Balinese homes dot the island and are currently open for business.
960 1280

Getty  

Titanic

Titanic

North Atlantic Sea
April, 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage and sinking of the Titanic. At least 2 companies are offering memorial cruises with itineraries that include key ports of call, as well as experts, family members’ descendants and memorial services at the wreck site. Two expedition ships will go a step further, offering guests the opportunity to dive to the wreck in submersible vehicles. Cost is approximately $66,000 per person for divers and $12,000 for non-divers. Visitors to the Titanic’s embarkation port of Southampton can tour the Sea City Museum, which is slated to open in 2012.
960 1280

Getty  

Belize
According to legend, the world will end in 2012 because the ancient Maya calendar, which spans 5,000 years, mysteriously ends on Dec. 21. Belize will host several events on and around the predicted apocalypse. The ruins of Xunantunich will be the location of Belize’s main event on Dec. 21, where festivities will include a concert and light show on the ruins, plus a fire ceremony to usher in the next 5,125 years.
960 1280

Getty  

New Zealand
2012 will usher in epic levels of fanboy drool in anticipation of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films, set for release in December. Why not celebrate with a jaunt to the island nation where it all began with the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy? Visitors can ride a jet boat or fly in a helicopter to tour the trilogy’s shooting locations. Then hop over to the town of Matamata on the north island where Jackson is currently filming in nearby Hobbiton.
960 1280

Getty  

Guimarães, Portugal
This city in northern Portugal has been dubbed the European Capital of Culture in 2012. Building on an already robust arts scene, 2012 will see the city showcasing the work of creative artists from Portugal and across Europe. Don’t miss a tour of the medieval old city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where you can wander a maze of red-roofed, colonnaded buildings, palaces and a central castle.
960 1280

Michael Runkel  

New York City
If you haven’t been to NYC lately, 2012 would be a good time to visit. The Conrad New York, slated to open in early 2012, is the city’s newest all-suite luxury hotel. Located in the heart of lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, the future hotel boasts views of the Hudson River, is adjacent to the Hudson River Park and is a great base from which to explore lower Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo and TriBeCa, as well as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Curacao
Celebrating its first year of independence since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao is a cosmopolitan Caribbean island where flavors of both Europe and the West Indies mingle with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and vital coral reefs. Take a spin around the capital, Willemstad, where gabled colonial architecture is splashed with playful Caribbean color, then grab a snorkel and mask and take a dip in the Curacao Underwater Marine Park.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Spaceport America
Travel to the middle of the New Mexico desert to tour Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport. Follow the Sun Tours offers exclusive public access to the site, with tours that include visits to the vertical launch area and vertical mission control building, as well as construction areas like the airfield, spaceport operations center, fuel storage complex and iconic terminal hangar facility. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic plans to begin flying paying customers into space from the facility before the end of 2012.
960 1280

Spaceport America  

Oman
We can’t ignore the fact that this little gem on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula and its capital city, Muscat, is on all sorts of 2012 must-see lists, including those from Lonely Planet and National Geographic. While neighboring oil-rich countries are erecting skyscrapers, Oman is adding an opera house and planting desert gardens amid the capital’s white stone buildings. We want to go to there.
960 1280

Getty  

Photos

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Head to the Big Apple for Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The three-hour event starts at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, but better come early (and wear warm clothes); crowds start arriving hours earlier to stake out a spot. If a 5 a.m. wakeup call’s not your thing, these NYC Hotels offer great views of the parade’s lineup of floats, clowns and more. 960 1280

TIMOTHY A. CLARY / Getty Images  

Breeders' Cup

Breeders' Cup

Wondering where to travel in November? Start by taking in two days of action-packed thoroughbred horse races. The annual Breeders’ Cup World Championship kicks off this month at California’s oldest racetrack, Santa Anita Park. Better grab your tickets fast, though; attendance is usually much higher than other stake races in North America.
 960 1280

Rob Carr / Getty Images  

Movember

Movember


Bros! Ditch the razor for a month-long celebration of some fierce facial hair. Movember (the month formerly known as November) unfolds with dozens of runs and gala parties nationwide to raise awareness of men’s health issues. That spells one perfect excuse to finally try out that wicked handlebar ’stache.
960 1280

Sasha Haagensen / Getty Images  

The Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead

Families decorate the graves of loved ones  throughout Mexico as part of this annual national holiday. A blend of pre-Columbian and Catholic traditions, Day of the Dead may sound notoriously spooky to outsiders. But to those who celebrate it, the day offers a way to reflect and share in treasured memories of loved ones through acts of commemoration, including making altars like this.
960 1280

steve bridger, flickr  

Black Friday

Black Friday

America at its finest, folks. Yes, you too can trample over terrified cashiers in pursuit of a bargain HD TV. If you prefer something a little more orderly this Black Friday, head to some of America’s best shopping malls. Our top pick: Mall of America, home to more than 180 retailers. Bring your ID and some good walking shoes. Plus better remember where you parked! 960 1280

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images  

Busiest Travel Days, Start Planning!

Busiest Travel Days, Start Planning!

Notoriously long lines and long waits: The day before Thanksgiving ranks as the busiest travel day of the year. Drive, fly or take the train -- we don’t care how you get here, just as long as you arrive in notorious aplomb and style (no fugly Thanksgiving sweaters, please). 960 1280

John Moore/Getty Images  

NYC Marathon

NYC Marathon

Lace up your sneakers for the New York City Marathon. More than 50,000 people compete in the world’s largest marathon. Cheer on the participants as they race through the city’s five boroughs and head to the finish line if you’re not competing in the 26-mile run. 960 1280

JEWEL SAMAD / Getty Images  

NASCAR Sprint for the Cup

NASCAR Sprint for the Cup

Feeling the need for speed? NASCAR enthusiasts will feel it in droves at one of the country's best NASCAR racetracks, the Homestead-Miami Speedway. This month, the motor racing track hosts the annual NASCAR Sprint for the Cup, in which racing’s top drivers will compete for the championship trophy – it all unfolds in the Ford EcoBoost 400 season finale. 960 1280

Orlando Sentinel / Getty Images  

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

Heroic resolve in the midst of often notorious treatment defines Native American Heritage Month. Kick off this special month of commemoration -- and appreciation -- with a visit to this dazzling waterfall, tucked in a land in the heart of the Grand Canyon that’s been home to the Havasupai American Indian tribe for nearly 1,000 years.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

Notoriously passionate wine and food lovers descend on Southern California each November for the region’s largest festival of its kind. How notorious are we talking? Well, let’s just say any festival that lures some of the best national chefs, local culinary stars, and celebrated winemakers and brewmasters means serious gastronomic pleasure is in order. 960 1280

Ken Loyst  

Fun Fun Fun Fest

Fun Fun Fun Fest

The darling of independent festivals for music lovers and music-makers alike, Fun Fun Fun Fest has some notoriously serious creds. Ever since its launch in 2006, this annual festival has skyrocketed beyond its downtown Austin roots to world-renowned status, attracting artists and their fans from around the globe.
960 1280

incase, flickr  

Deer Hunting Season

Deer Hunting Season

Notorious to some, delectably yummy to others, deer-hunting season begins with a bang -- sorry, Bambi -- come November. That’s because the month is prime deer-mating season: Male bucks are often so distracted by the urge to mate they may not detect the sound of Grandpa Earl’s carbine locking and loading off in the distance. Head to states like Kentucky, New Hampshire and Minnesota for the hunt.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

On a sunny autumn day in November 1963, America’s love affair with Camelot came to a shattering end. Just weeks before his assassination, JFK visited Arlington National Cemetery and, standing atop a hill, said he could spend eternity there. Today, he is one of two presidents buried on the 600-acre grounds, an eternal flame placed by his widow Jackie to outshine one of the most notorious moments in U.S. history. 960 1280

Anna Fox, flickr  

Chicago’s The Food Film Festival

Chicago’s The Food Film Festival

Food in the theater?! The sight may be a notorious no-no to crabby old docents, but at this annual festival, the paired enjoyment of food and film -- from the comfort of a theater seat -- is a must. The annual event, now in its third year, invites audience members to actually taste some of the dishes they see before them on the big screen.
960 1280

Food Film Festival  

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Mmm, mmm, good! Perfectly succulent (when baked right), the turkey takes center stage at many holiday tables. America cooks up more than 45 million turkeys for Thanksgiving, plus another 22 million come Christmastime, which adds up to a whole lotta post-meal sleepiness.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

The Rockettes

The Rockettes

Let’s go girls! Those sky-high kicks, those naughty smiles -- oh, it certainly wouldn’t be a notoriously fun November without the Rockettes. During the holiday season, the legendary dance company kicks it into high gear with five shows a day, seven days a week. See the grand show unfold in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, presented at Radio City Music Hall. 960 1280

Getty Images  

London

London

London, England
When the 2012 Summer Olympics get rolling in July, millions of visitors will descend on the British capital. The first event ticket application window has closed, but officials plan to release more during the winter. While you’re in London, don’t miss the Making of Harry Potter studio tour at Leavesden Studios, where all 8 Harry Potter films were shot. The tour officially opens in spring 2012.
960 1280

Getty  

Necker Island

Necker Island

Necker Island
Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive island getaway in the British Virgin Islands suffered a devastating fire in summer 2011 that destroyed the resort’s Great House. Actress Kate Winslet famously helped save Branson’s 90-year-old mother from the inferno, carrying her down slippery stairs in the midst of hurricane-force rain and wind. The Great House is scheduled to be rebuilt by the end of 2012, and in the meantime, 7 luxurious Balinese homes dot the island and are currently open for business.
960 1280

Getty  

Titanic

Titanic

North Atlantic Sea
April, 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage and sinking of the Titanic. At least 2 companies are offering memorial cruises with itineraries that include key ports of call, as well as experts, family members’ descendants and memorial services at the wreck site. Two expedition ships will go a step further, offering guests the opportunity to dive to the wreck in submersible vehicles. Cost is approximately $66,000 per person for divers and $12,000 for non-divers. Visitors to the Titanic’s embarkation port of Southampton can tour the Sea City Museum, which is slated to open in 2012.
960 1280

Getty  

Belize
According to legend, the world will end in 2012 because the ancient Maya calendar, which spans 5,000 years, mysteriously ends on Dec. 21. Belize will host several events on and around the predicted apocalypse. The ruins of Xunantunich will be the location of Belize’s main event on Dec. 21, where festivities will include a concert and light show on the ruins, plus a fire ceremony to usher in the next 5,125 years.
960 1280

Getty  

New Zealand
2012 will usher in epic levels of fanboy drool in anticipation of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films, set for release in December. Why not celebrate with a jaunt to the island nation where it all began with the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy? Visitors can ride a jet boat or fly in a helicopter to tour the trilogy’s shooting locations. Then hop over to the town of Matamata on the north island where Jackson is currently filming in nearby Hobbiton.
960 1280

Getty  

Guimarães, Portugal
This city in northern Portugal has been dubbed the European Capital of Culture in 2012. Building on an already robust arts scene, 2012 will see the city showcasing the work of creative artists from Portugal and across Europe. Don’t miss a tour of the medieval old city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where you can wander a maze of red-roofed, colonnaded buildings, palaces and a central castle.
960 1280

Michael Runkel  

New York City
If you haven’t been to NYC lately, 2012 would be a good time to visit. The Conrad New York, slated to open in early 2012, is the city’s newest all-suite luxury hotel. Located in the heart of lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, the future hotel boasts views of the Hudson River, is adjacent to the Hudson River Park and is a great base from which to explore lower Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo and TriBeCa, as well as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Curacao
Celebrating its first year of independence since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao is a cosmopolitan Caribbean island where flavors of both Europe and the West Indies mingle with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and vital coral reefs. Take a spin around the capital, Willemstad, where gabled colonial architecture is splashed with playful Caribbean color, then grab a snorkel and mask and take a dip in the Curacao Underwater Marine Park.
960 1280

Thinkstock  

Spaceport America
Travel to the middle of the New Mexico desert to tour Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport. Follow the Sun Tours offers exclusive public access to the site, with tours that include visits to the vertical launch area and vertical mission control building, as well as construction areas like the airfield, spaceport operations center, fuel storage complex and iconic terminal hangar facility. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic plans to begin flying paying customers into space from the facility before the end of 2012.
960 1280

Spaceport America  

Oman
We can’t ignore the fact that this little gem on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula and its capital city, Muscat, is on all sorts of 2012 must-see lists, including those from Lonely Planet and National Geographic. While neighboring oil-rich countries are erecting skyscrapers, Oman is adding an opera house and planting desert gardens amid the capital’s white stone buildings. We want to go to there.
960 1280

Getty  

The World Series

The World Series

Every October, sports fans sit on the edge of their seats to watch tense playoff games and the World Series, in anticipation of which team will be crowned the champs of Major League Baseball. 960 1280

Patrick McDermott  

Presidential Debates

Presidential Debates

In a different nail-biter, the contentious US presidential race kicks into high gear this month, with both candidates racking up thousands of miles campaigning and debating all over the US. 960 1280

Win McNamee  

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

As autumn brings cooler weather, we’re dreaming of somewhere warmer in the Caribbean, like Grand Cayman. In October, 1 lucky winner can enter to win a trip for 2 to this sunny spot to enjoy fun activities, including a swim with stingrays. 960 1280

Jo Ann Snover  

Columbus Day

Columbus Day

We celebrate Christopher Columbus’s spirit of exploration on Columbus Day, such as the Knights of Columbus (pictured) did at this special celebration in Washington, DC. This year’s holiday marked the 100th anniversary of President William Howard Taft unveiling the National Columbus Memorial. 960 1280

Win McNamee  

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer survivors and supporters in search of a cure converge on the National Mall in Washington for the Susan G. Komen Foundation's annual Race for the Cure. The foundation raises awareness and funding for breast cancer research and services. 960 1280

� Joshua Roberts / Reuters, JPEGTOII2/MED  

NY ComicCon

NY ComicCon

Zing! Pow! Bang! We may not be obsessed with New York Comic Con, but we know thousands of fans who enjoy this unique convention, which allows them the chance to rub elbows with their favorite sci-fi characters and chat with like-minded people who also enjoy talking about their favorite comic-book superheroes. 960 1280

Daniel Zuchnik  

NFL Football

NFL Football

NFL football is another reason why we’re obsessed with October. The season is in full swing , bringing cheers, jeers and tailgating fun. 960 1280

Frederick Breedon  

Fall Festivals

Fall Festivals

What’s not to love about the wonderful fall and harvest festivals in October? It’s the perfect time to take the kids for a hayride, as well as embark on a trip to explore a corn maze or go an adventure in search of the perfect pumpkin. 960 1280

  

Great American Beer Festival

Great American Beer Festival

Aside from Munich’s Oktoberfest, beer is also king at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Tip back a cold one as you sample quality beers that have been entered in the annual beer competition, while professional judges decide which breweries win the gold, silver or bronze medals across 75 beer-style categories. 960 1280

Photo © Brewers Association.  

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Rock out to some of the world’s best indie and alternative rockers -- like Radiohead, Jack White and Esperanza Spalding -- at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this October. 960 1280

  

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

It just wouldn’t be October without a fun leaf-peeping road trip to see the colorful foliage in prime locations, including Natchaug State Forest in Connecticut, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin. 960 1280

Greg M. Cooper  

Halloween

Halloween

Boo! We’re obsessed with Halloween, things that go bump in the night, costumes, candy, glowing jack-o’-lanterns and other places where we can get our “spook” on, like Knott’s Scary Farm. 960 1280

  

Ironman World Championship

Ironman World Championship

It’s the ultimate test of mind, body and spirit. Thousands of spectators converge on Kona, HI, to see triathletes swim, bike and run to the finish line to win the annual Ironman World Championship. 960 1280

© Hugh Gentry / Reuters, JPEGTOII2/MED  

College Football

College Football

Before the New Year’s Eve college bowl craze begins, football fans bundle up in their warmest gear to catch their favorite college football teams in action. 960 1280

Streeter Lecka  

San Francisco Fleet Week

San Francisco Fleet Week

The sky is the limit if you’re looking for a fun fall getaway. Be one of thousands of spectators who come out to enjoy the air show -- one of the final events of a busy Fleet Week in San Francisco. 960 1280

© Robert Galbraith / Reuters, Reuters Picture Stream/MED  

Monsters

Monsters

October is full of ghosts, ghouls, vampires, witches, zombies and other creepy creatures. We’re also obsessed with the people who make these monsters. 960 1280

  

NYC Food Film Festival

NYC Food Film Festival

Raise a beer, sample food and be the first of a select few to see critically acclaimed cuisine-related films at the annual NYC Food Film Festival. 960 1280

  

Taste of Fall

Taste of Fall

Enjoy the lip-smacking, obsessively good tastes of October, including pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, beef stew, candy corn and apple cider. 960 1280

David Smith  

National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month

We recognize National Hispanic Month in October. The rich culture is brought to life through special events, including this Fiesta Musical at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC. 960 1280

Mehgan Murphy  

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