Travel Channel's Most Memorable Moments of 2011

A daring trip to Cuba. An undercover stint in NYC. The surprises didn’t end there in 2011. Check out our roundup of Travel Channel’s most memorable moments of the year.

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bathing suit from around 1895
Bathing Suits From Around 1895

Bathing Suits From Around 1895

There isn’t one article of clothing in history that has caused more of a stir than the bathing suit. It’s hard to imagine now, but this “bathing costume” from around 1895 was considered scandalous in its day. 960 1280

ND/Roger Viollet/Getty Images  

At the Washington Monument

At the Washington Monument

In the early 20th century, a crowd at Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin plays a game of water tennis with the Washington Monument in the background.   960 1280

Bain News Service/Buyenlarge/Getty Images  

First Miss America Contestants

First Miss America Contestants

The first Miss America contestants pose wearing their sashes over swimsuits on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. Pictured here (second from left) is Margaret Gorman, Miss District of Columbia who went on to become that year’s national winner.  960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

In London

In London

Three models pose in swimsuits in a luxury store’s window in London's West End.  960 1280

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images  

Backless Bathing Costumes

Backless Bathing Costumes

Models show off backless bathing and beach costumes at a women's wear exhibition at Dorland Hall on London’s Regent Street. 960 1280

Photo by H. F. Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images  

First Modern-Day Bikini

First Modern-Day Bikini

The first modern-day bikini caused quite a stir when it debuted at the Piscine Molitor swimming pool in Paris in 1946. The bikini’s designer, a French automobile engineer named Louis Reard, was unable to find a “respectable” model to wear his bathing suit; the job went to 19-year-old Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris.  960 1280

Keystone/Getty Images  

Elizabeth Taylor in a 2-Piece Suit

Elizabeth Taylor in a 2-Piece Suit

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, 15, shows off a frilly 2-piece bathing suit on a beach.  960 1280

Photo by Bob Landry//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images  

Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s

Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s

Marilyn Monroe reclines on patio furniture in the early 1950s, wearing a 2-piece swimsuit accented by Lucite heels and bangle earrings.  960 1280

Camerique Archive/Getty Images  

Brigitte Bardot in 1953

Brigitte Bardot in 1953

French actress Brigitte Bardot sits on the beach during the Cannes Film Festival in 1953.  960 1280

Patrick Morin/RDA/Getty Images  

California in 1956

California in 1956

A group of gymnastic-loving men, women and children pose in swimsuits at Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, CA, in 1956.  960 1280

Gene Lester/Getty Images  

Debbie Reynolds in the 1950s

Debbie Reynolds in the 1950s

American actress and singer Debbie Reynolds is seen here wearing a 2-piece swimsuit on a beach in the mid-1950s. 960 1280

Getty Images/Getty Images  

Elvis Presley in 1961

Elvis Presley in 1961

Elvis Presley, dressed in swimming trunks, exchanges a passionate kiss with bikini-clad American actress Joan Blackman in a still from the 1961 musical film Blue Hawaii 960 1280

Paramount Pictures/Courtesy of Getty Images   

Audrey Hepburn in 1967

Audrey Hepburn in 1967

Actress Audrey Hepburn, clad in a swimsuit, gracefully settles into a swimming pool in Saint-Tropez during filming of the 1967 film Two for the Road..  960 1280

Terry O'Neill/Getty Images  

Brigitte Bardot in 1968

Brigitte Bardot in 1968

French bombshell Brigitte Bardot wears a bikini in a boat near Saint-Tropez, France, in 1968.  960 1280

Robert Cohen/RDA/Getty Images  

Raquel Welch in 1966

Raquel Welch in 1966

American actress Raquel Welch films a scene from One Million Years B.C. in 1966.  960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

London in 1975

London in 1975

These 3 women model bikinis on a London street in 1975.  960 1280

Evening Standard/Getty Images  

On Film in 1983

On Film in 1983

A promotional shot of British actor Roger Moore (as James Bond) surrounded by female palace guards in bathing suits in the 1983 film Octopussy 960 1280

United Artists  

Brazil Around 1990

Brazil Around 1990

Young women sunbathe on Brazil's iconic Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro around 1990. 960 1280

Romano Cagnoni/Getty Images  

2001 MTV Video Music Awards

2001 MTV Video Music Awards

Britney Spears performs on stage at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City in what could be described as a very bold bikini. 960 1280

Dave Hogan/Getty Images  

Modeling Swimsuits in 2012

Modeling Swimsuits in 2012

A model wears a swimsuit during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on Nov. 7, 2012, in New York 960 1280

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images  

Miss America Pageant 2013

Miss America Pageant 2013

Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson competes in the swimsuit competition during the Miss America 2013 pageant in Las Vegas. 960 1280

David Becker/Getty Images  

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

London Celebrates the Queen
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year, marking her 60th year as monarch. A weekend of events in June is planned throughout the Commonwealth, culminating in a Royal Air Force flyover and a "Fire of Joy," a celebratory cascade of rifle fire given as a salute by the Queen's Guard.
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Getty Images  

Spider-Man turns 50

Spider-Man turns 50

Spider-Man Turns 50
Spider-Man made his first appearance in comics in 1962, making this his 50th anniversary. The newest Spiderman movie is also set for release this summer -- the perfect birthday gift for Spidey.
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Getty Images  

A War of 1812 reenactment

A War of 1812 reenactment

War of 1812 Bicentennial
The US declared war on Britain 200 years ago, setting off the War of 1812. This year bicentennial celebrations are being held by 10 states, as well as Washington, DC and Ontario.
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Getty Images  

Titanic Exhibit in DC

Titanic Exhibit in DC

100 Years After the Titanic Tragedy
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, sparking renewed interest in the tragedy. James Cameron's Titanic movie has been rereleased in 3-D, and the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, has a new exhibit, "Titanic: 100 Year Obsession," which includes props from the 1997 movie.
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Getty Images  

Arizona celebrates its centennial

Arizona celebrates its centennial

Arizona Celebrates Its Centennial
Arizona has taken on a series of statewide projects to commemorate its centennial. Projects include a documentary following 100 Arizona ranchers whose families have been ranching in the state since 1912 and a new museum that explores what it means to be an Arizonian.
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Thinkstock  

100 years of the Cherry Blossom Festival

100 years of the Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival
A century ago, Japan gave Washington, DC, a gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees as a token of friendship. Each year, the US capital is painted pink with the blossoms, which lure visitors from all over the world.
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Louisiana's 200th year of statehood

Louisiana's 200th year of statehood

Louisiana's Bicentennial
To commemorate Louisiana's 200th anniversary, the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission has drawn up with a list of 200 free things that visitors can do in the state. These include visiting the state's 180-mile long Creole Nature Trail, which is home to 400 bird species.
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Thinkstock  

Charles Dickens turns 200

Charles Dickens turns 200

Charles Dickens' Birthday
Even though Charles Dickens turned 200 back in February, the party is continuing all year long with a Dickensian exhibit at the Museum of London and a guided tour through Chalk Church, which was featured in Great Expectations.
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Getty Images  

New Mexico's 100th year as a state

New Mexico's 100th year as a state

New Mexico's 100th Year
New Mexico celebrates 100 years of statehood this year. As part of the celebration, the state's governor created the Centennial Children's Legacy Fund, which hopes to improve the education and welfare of New Mexico's children.
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Nicholas_T, flickr  

Golden Gate Bridge celebrates 75 years

Golden Gate Bridge celebrates 75 years

The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75
For the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary in May, San Francisco is going all out with a day-long festival that will celebrate the history of the bridge and the culture of the city -- all culminating in a fireworks grand finale.
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Geoff Stearns, flickr  

The Space Needle opened 50 years ago

The Space Needle opened 50 years ago

The Space Needle's 50th Anniversary
Fifty years ago, when the Space Needle opened at the Seattle World's Fair, it was called "The Space Cage." It was built in just 1 year and 4 days.
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Thinkstock  

Wrigley Field’s 100th
Wrigley Field’s 100th

Wrigley Field’s 100th

Before it was ever known as Wrigley Field, Chicago’s famed baseball venue went by 2 previous names. Built in 1914 for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the stadium was first known as Weeghman Park, and later, as Cubs Park. In April 2014, Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday bash will showcase 10 decade-themed home stands as the stadium hosts the Arizona Diamondbacks. 960 1280

iStock  

St. Louis Turns 250

St. Louis Turns 250

The Gateway City marks its 250th anniversary this year. In 1764, French fur trader Pierre Laclede set out to construct a trading post near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Laclede eventually settled on a site 18 miles downriver. Today, St. Louis’s riverfront area is named Laclede’s Landing in his honor. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Berlin Wall’s Fall, 25 Years Later

Berlin Wall’s Fall, 25 Years Later

Germany marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. The anniversary joins 2 other big events this year: 100 years since the outbreak of WWI and 75 years since the start of the second, earning 2014 the nickname in Germany of Super-Gedenkjahr, or the “super-year of commemoration.” 960 1280

Reuters   

WWI Turns 100

WWI Turns 100

In July 2014, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the Great War. In July 1914, Austro-Hungarian Empire formally declared war on Serbia, setting off World War I. Learn the story at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. The 32,000-square-foot facility consists of 2 theaters, exhibitions of period artifacts and replica trenches. 960 1280

National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial   

50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang

50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang

On April 17, 1964, Ford Motor Company unveiled the Mustang, and the smooth, 2-door beaut quickly became a fixture of American muscle car culture. (Who could forget the 7-minute chase scene in 1968’s Bullitt, when a Ford Mustang GT 390 rips through the streets of San Francisco?) Grab your shades, and celebrate the Mustang’s 50th with a ride in a sixth-generation Mustang this year. 960 1280

Getty Images   

D-Day 70th Anniversary

D-Day 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the coast of Normandy, code-named Omaha Beach, saw the Allied invasion against German-occupied France. Commemorations will unfold everywhere from Bedford, VA, to the Norman coast, where Queen Elizabeth will be guest of honor. Meanwhile, Holland America is offering a 12-day D-Day tour, and a plethora of Normandy tours will recall the June 6 landings. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Japan’s Bullet Train (Shinkansen): 50th Anniversary

Japan’s Bullet Train (Shinkansen): 50th Anniversary

Japan’s high-speed railway turns 50 this year. In October 1964, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened between Tokyo and the Shin-Ōsaka Station 320 miles away, for a total trip time of 4 hours. Today, the journey takes about 3 hours. Spring 2014 will see test runs of the new Series E7 bullet train, with a top speed of 160 mph. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sundance Film Festival's 30th

Sundance Film Festival's 30th

America’s top independent film festival sees its 30th anniversary this year. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Film Festival has gone on to showcase such groundbreaking films as Little Miss Sunshine and Beasts of the Southern Wild. This year’s festival will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance Resort. 960 1280

Getty Images   

The Beatles: 50th Anniversary of US Debut

The Beatles: 50th Anniversary of US Debut

In early 1964, the Beatles kicked off their first official US tour with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Months later, with Beatlemania at its height, the Beatles performed at the Hollywood Bowl (pictured). Relive the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s US invasion with a Magical History Tour and a Beatles Walking Tour in NYC. 960 1280

david_hwang, flickr  

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition: 100th Anniversary

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition: 100th Anniversary

Just as WWI broke out, Sir Ernest Shackleton embarked on the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. Then his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s heroic journey. Relive one of the greatest survival stories of all time on an Antarctica cruise, the last frontier for cruise travelers. 960 1280

Thinkstock   

South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

This year South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom and general elections. In 1994, on the heels of decades of struggle led by Nelson Mandela, South Africa transitioned from apartheid to a government of majority rule. Take a South Africa tour, and see where history was made. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Yosemite’s 150th Anniversary

Yosemite’s 150th Anniversary

This year marks Yosemite’s 150th anniversary. In June 1864, Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, the first land grant in the nation to protect wild lands for the enjoyment of future generations. This year, more than 150 events are planned at Yosemite to mark the historic milestone. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

New Jersey Turns 350

New Jersey Turns 350

The Garden State celebrates its 350th birthday in 2014. In 1664 Charles II of England granted a chunk of land on the East Coast to his brother, James. James then gave 2 friends part of the land; it was soon named New Jersey. It’s all just one more reason to celebrate the land of bikinis and boardwalks. 960 1280

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