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  

It's a <i>Wonderful Life</i> in Hawaii
It's a Wonderful Life in Hawaii

It's a Wonderful Life in Hawaii

In a scene from the 1964 British film Wonderful Life, pop star Cliff Richard plays the acoustic guitar while accompanied by Hawaiian dancers. 960 1280

GAB Archive/Redferns  

Hawaiian Honeymoon

Hawaiian Honeymoon

Hawaii has always been a popular honeymoon destination. After it became the 50th state in 1959, this exotic island paradise became the place for many Americans to honeymoon without having to leave the country. 960 1280

Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images  

Halona Beach Cove

Halona Beach Cove

One of the most steamy beach scenes in film history was filmed in Hawaii. In the famous kissing sequence in From Here to Eternity, stars Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr roll around in the frothy waves on Oahu’s Halona Beach Cove. 960 1280

Columbia Pictures/Archive Photos/Getty Images  

Blue Hawaii

Blue Hawaii

Music legend Elvis Presley, donning a Hawaiian shirt and lei, plays a ukulele in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii. 960 1280

Paramount Pictures/Courtesy of Getty Images   

Air Travel to Hawaii

Air Travel to Hawaii

Air travel in the mid-1930s made it possible for tourists to come to Hawaii faster, without having to take a long ship journey as in times past. Suddenly, a week’s vacation in this island paradise became more feasible for many Americans. 960 1280

Underwood Archives/Getty Images  

Hawaii, 1930s-Style

Hawaii, 1930s-Style

Hawaii played the beautiful backdrop for the 1934 musical film Flirtation Walk, about a private stationed in Hawaii who gets involved with the general's engaged daughter. 960 1280

Warner Brothers/Getty Images  

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

One of the best places in the world for beginner surfers is Waikiki Hawaii. Long rolling waves, no sharp reefs or rocks in the area, and little wind make it a perfect spot to learn to surf. In the 1950s, surfing in Waikiki became one of the most popular tourist activities. 960 1280

Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images  

Hula Dance

Hula Dance

In ancient Hawaii, the hula dance was used to pass down history and myth from generation to generation. In the 1960s, the influx of tourists sparked renewed interest in this visual art form as a way to maintain the Hawaiian culture … and to put on a good show for visitors. 960 1280

H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images  

First Lady of Waikiki

First Lady of Waikiki

With a prime oceanfront location on Waikiki Beach, The Moana Hotel, as it was known when it was built in 1901, is often referred to as the “First Lady of Waikiki.” With a $50 million renovation in 1989, the historic Moana Surfrider Resort and Spa, as it is known today, was restored with modern luxury in mind and continues to be one of the finest hotels in Honolulu. 960 1280

George Silk//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images  

Surf Like Gidget

Surf Like Gidget

In the 1960s, surfing films like Gidget (and the TV series of the same name) and Endless Summer inspired young Americans to not only learn to surf but to search for the perfect wave all over the world, including beautiful locations throughout Hawaii. 960 1280

Keystone/Getty Images  

Brady Bunch in Hawaii

Brady Bunch in Hawaii

Proving that Hawaii is the ultimate American family vacation, The Brady Bunch filmed the “Hawaii Bound” episode in Honolulu in 1972, with the icon of Hawaiian entertainment, Don Ho, as guest star. 960 1280

CBS via Getty Images  

Led Zeppelin in Hawaii

Led Zeppelin in Hawaii

Rock gods Led Zeppelin arrive in Honolulu in 1969. The band -- John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page -- “get leid” as soon as they arrive at the Honolulu Airport. 960 1280

Robert Knight Archive/Redferns  

Hawaiian Nights… With Mamie

Hawaiian Nights… With Mamie

American actress and blonde bombshell Mamie Van Doren plays a glamour girl in the 1954 musical film short Hawaiian Nights. 960 1280

FPG/Getty Images  

SS Lurline

SS Lurline

Women learn the hula aboard the SS Lurline during a voyage in summer 1954. The SS Lurline typically operated between San Francisco and Honolulu for the Matson cruise line. 960 1280

Gene Lester/Getty Images  

Hawaii Five-O in Honolulu

Hawaii Five-O in Honolulu

Shot on location in Honolulu, the original police drama Hawaii Five-O aired from 1968 to 1980. The reimagined TV series, Hawaii Five-0 premiered in 2010 and is filmed on Oahu. 960 1280

CBS via Getty Images  

Kauai

Kauai

While no one knows exactly where Gilligan’s Island is (including Gilligan and the rest of the castaways), the pilot and first episode of this classic American sitcom were actually filmed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 1963. 960 1280

CBS/Getty Images  

US Navy at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

US Navy at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

In 1942, the US Navy leased The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and transformed it into a rest and recuperation center for military and civilian workers. 960 1280

Hulton Archive/Getty Images  

Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater

A young American couple honeymoon in Honolulu in the 1950s. In the background is the extinct volcanic crater Diamond Head, which became a National Natural Landmark in 1968. 960 1280

Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images  

King Kamehameha

King Kamehameha

A 1932 Ford Custom Roadster is parked in front of the King Kamehameha statue at downtown Honolulu's Aliʻiōlani Hale. The building, originally planned for use as a Royal Palace by Hawaii's King Kamehameha V, today houses the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the court administration offices, a law library and the Judiciary History Center. 960 1280

Ed Moon/Source Interlink Media/Getty Images  

Pineapple Island

Pineapple Island

In the late 1800s, sugar and later, pineapple plantations powered Hawaii's economy. James Dole turned Lanai into the world’s leading exporter of pineapple, earning it the nickname “Pineapple Island.” 960 1280

NBCU Photo Bank  

Hawaiian Entertainer Don Ho

Hawaiian Entertainer Don Ho

Legendary crooner Don Ho entertained tourists for decades and was one of Hawaii's best known musicians. He is best known for his show at the Waikiki Beachcomber, where he would perform his trademark "Tiny Bubbles." He died on April 14, 2007 at the age of 76. 960 1280

NBCU Photo Bank  

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Located on the famous Waikiki Beach, The Royal Hawaiian Hotel led the travel renaissance in Hawaii. Built in 1927, this iconic hotel remains one of the most luxurious hotels in Waikiki, after a long history of being the playground for Hawaiian chiefs and later, Hollywood’s elite. 960 1280

Underwood Archives/Getty Images  

Vintage Hawaii  22 Photos

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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Thinkstock  

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  

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