What's In, What's Out for 2012

In: Traveling Social. Out: Traveling Solo. Find out more of Travel Channel's picks for what's hot and what's not for travel in 2012.

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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Love dogs? Celebrate man’s best friend, in all his tail-wagging glory, at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The 2-day event features more than 2,700 pooches going tail to tail to win the coveted Best in Breed title … but only one will be named “America’s Dog.”
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REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  

Auckland Lantern Festival (New Zealand)

Auckland Lantern Festival (New Zealand)

Enjoy cool summer breezes, and a fresh start, at the Auckland Lantern Festival in New Zealand. Now in its 15th year, this lively annual bash, which comes at the tail end of New Zealand’s summer, celebrates the Chinese New Year with hundreds of lanterns lit up around town. So book a ticket, and ring in the Year of the Horse. 
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Kitt Foo, flickr  

NYC Fashion Week

NYC Fashion Week

See fashion’s best strut their stuff at NY Fashion Week. The Big Apple’s trendiest event of the year usually kicks off during during the first or second week in February. Who will dazzle this year’s list of fashion editors and celebrity guests? Cross over the East River to find out.
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REUTERS/Keith Bedford  

Super Bowl XLIX (Phoenix, AZ)

Super Bowl XLIX (Phoenix, AZ)

Are you ready for some football? Then, get ready for biggest game of the year … The Super Bowl. Watch the NFC and AFC champions go head to head to win bragging rights and more importantly, the NFL championship title. 960 1280

Mark Cornelison/MCT/Getty Images  

Valentine’s Day … on the Run

Valentine’s Day … on the Run

Strip down, and start running, for a good cause on Valentine’s Day. The Annual Cupid’s Undie Run gets thousands of people decked out in their bedroom best to raise awareness for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. 960 1280

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images  

National Margarita Day … Everywhere!

National Margarita Day … Everywhere!

Get your tequila and limes out for National Margarita Day! Whether you’re kicking back on a tropical beach in Mexico or lazing around at home with friends, this revered day offers the perfect excuse to shake it, pour it and sip it to your heart’s content. For a little inspiration, see what goes into making a world-class margarita, too. 960 1280

Christian Wheatley  

Daytona 500

Daytona 500

Rev up for the Daytona 500 this month. The Great American Race kicks off at the Daytona International Speedway in late February, and just as it has since 1959, the annual event promises plenty of high-speed turns, with star drivers like Kyle Larson hitting the track. 960 1280

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images  

Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan)

Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan)

For an extraordinary take on winter, head to Japan for one of the country’s largest winter events. The annual Sapporo Snow Festival unfolds over 7 days, with plenty of big wintry attractions, from snow statues to ice sculptures, taking center stage in Japan’s fourth-largest city.
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© Yuriko Nakao / Reuters  

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival (New York)

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival (New York)

Closer to home enjoy a winter wonderland, New York-style. Since its start back in 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival has grown into one of the oldest winter carnivals in America. The 10-day event showcases plenty of winter magic, from an ice palace made from blocks of ice to the coronation of a winter carnival king and queen. 960 1280

Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake   

Carnival in Rio

Carnival in Rio

Round out the month with a sexy trip to the Carnival capital of the world. Come February, some 2 million people flock to Rio’s streets to celebrate the steamy festival leading up to Lent. Make sure to bring your bikini; February is one of the hottest months in this stretch of the Southern Hemisphere. 960 1280

Alexandro Auler/LatinContent/Getty Images   

Colosseum

Colosseum

Rome's most enduring icon is undoubtedly its 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 sat 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.
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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, a 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 have helped Petra, Jordan, earn its fame 960 1280

Reynold Mainse / Design Pics / Perspective / Getty Images  

El-Deir Monastery

El-Deir Monastery

El-Deir was built during the first century and 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

Getty Images  

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

Thinkstock  

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

Thinkstock  

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

Getty Images  

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

istock  

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

Thinkstock  

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

istock  

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