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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Madrid
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

istock  

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

istock  

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

istock  

Telluride, Colorado
Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Aspen's chilled-out neighbor, Telluride has the perfect recipe for a summer getaway: laid-back culture, outdoor adventures and plenty of summer festivals including its legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The best way to take in the sweeping views: a 3-mile gondola ride. 960 1280

Telluride Tourism  

San Juan Islands, Washington

San Juan Islands, Washington

Summer on Washington's San Juan Islands is idyllic with dry clear days and wildlife- watching galore, including orca whales, which gather near the islands every summer. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Summer Olympics, London

Summer Olympics, London

If you’re the type who needs to be in on the action, then head to London (along with everyone else in the world) for a less-than-quiet summer getaway at the Summer Olympics. Even if you can’t score tickets, you can still soak up the excitement with live broadcasts of Olympic events in locations such as Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. 960 1280

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Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island, Florida

Escape to the unspoiled and quiet beaches of Sanibel Island, only 15 miles west of Fort Myers -- but a world away from the rest of Florida's crowded and chaotic coastline. 960 1280

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Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico’s “secret island,” has neither the high-rise resorts or even the traffic lights of a place like San Juan. So you’ll have the beach to yourself in this national wildlife refuge. And check out the Bioluminescent Bay at night to see glowing microorganisms light up the ocean. 960 1280

Mark Donoher, flickr  

Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Swedes are known for traveling to warmer climates during their cold winters, but in the summer many stay put to enjoy the temperate weather and extra hours of sunlight (the sky doesn't darken until 10 p.m.). Cafés and most attractions stay open to take advantage of the late-night sun. 960 1280

Oleksiy Mark  

Roatan, Honduras

Roatan, Honduras

Some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean can be found in Honduras’s Bay Islands, off the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Roatan is the largest of the islands, with butterfly and iguana farms, canopy tours, small villages and idyllic beaches to entice both divers and non-divers alike. 960 1280

Dennis Sabo  

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

Don’t forget about America’s smallest state, Rhode Island! While the rest of the US battles record-heat days in summer, Rhode Island stays cool with New England breezes. Head to Newport to sample the legendary seafood -- lobster, lobster and more lobster. 960 1280

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Montreal, Canada

Montreal, Canada

Montreal is full of European charm, but a lot closer and more affordable than Paris. And summer is the best time to go to enjoy the balmy weather, foodie culture and outdoor cafes. 960 1280

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Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight

Leave the car in the garage this summer and board the Coast Starlight, which links the greatest cities on the West Coast -- LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. You’ll ride through spectacular scenery in style, with sleeping cars, fresh cuisine (served on real china and table linens) and a daily tasting of local wines. 960 1280

Reuters  

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Gearing up the for the 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeriro keeps moving up the hotlist of South American tourism. Shedding its reputation as a dangerous city, Rio is claiming more of the spotlight with its stunning beaches and lively culture. 960 1280

Celso Pupo Rodrigues  

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Last summer was Yellowstone. This summer head to Glacier National Park, along Montana’s northern border, for a nature lover’s paradise: dramatic mountains, sapphire lakes and rivers, and unforgettable hiking trails. 960 1280

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World Bodypainting Festival
World Bodypainting Festival

World Bodypainting Festival

Since 1998, Carinthia, Austria, has hosted the colorful World Bodypainting Festival. Artists from more than 40 different nations do their best to stun, entertain and win the title of “World’s Best Bodypainter.” In addition to workshops and demos, the 3-day festival also includes music concerts, a Runway & Body Art Fashion Show and fireworks synchronized to music. 960 1280

Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images  

Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

More than 45,000 people flock to Queenstown, New Zealand, for perhaps the biggest winter celebration in the southern hemisphere -- the Queenstown Winter Festival. Since 1975, this gold mining camp, turned sophisticated city, comes alive during balmy, but cool temps (44°F - 46°F) in June. The 10-day celebration of winter has more than 75 events, including ski races, ski jumping, colorful parades and exhibitions. 960 1280

Reuters  

Gay Pride Month

Gay Pride Month

June is Gay Pride Month. Make a trip out of the annual LGBT celebration and travel to World Gay Pride, held in a different location every year like Rome, London and Toronto. Head to San Francisco for the largest Pride festival and parade in the US, or save your money and pack your bags for Sao Paulo, which hosts the largest Gay Pride celebration in the world. 960 1280

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images   

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Soar to new heights in California’s beautiful Wine Country. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic draws thousands of people to this 2-day event in Windsor, CA. On Saturday and Sunday, set your alarm clock early to make sure you’re awake to catch approximately 30 colorful balloons launch around 6:30am. 960 1280

George Rose/Getty Images  

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago is the place to visit in June, especially if you’re a fan of the blues. The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues music festival in the world. During 3 days, more than 500,000 people converge on Grant Park to hear well-renown performers like B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, KoKo Taylor and Otis Rush (pictured) perform on the festival’s 5 stages. 960 1280

by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images  

Dragon Boat Races

Dragon Boat Races

Visit Hong Kong to experience the excitement of the Duanwu Festival, celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. The Festival includes dragon boat races in Aberdeen -- one of the first places to host these races in Hong Kong. Fishermen believe that rowing dragon boats during the Duanwu Festival will bring them luck. 960 1280

Jessica Hromas/Getty Images  

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

From indie rock to reggae, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, draws thousands of fans to hear notable acts like Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Tool, The Beach Boys and The White Stripes. During this 4-day music festival, bands, rappers, musicians and singers perform from around noon until 4am or later at Great Stage Park, which is located on a 700-acre farm. 960 1280

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic  

Midsummer Festival

Midsummer Festival

Apart from Christmas, the Midsummer Festival is the most important holiday on the Swedish calendar. Flowers in your hair, dancing around a maypole, singing songs while drinking schnapps and eating pickled herring is all part of this special celebration. We recommend visiting Leksand to experience the largest midsummer festival in Sweden. 960 1280

Reuters/Bob Strong  

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Explore the incredible Inca ruins of Peru’s Machu Picchu, often called “Lost city of the Incas.” Take an adventurous climb to see the Temple of Condor and Sun Gate -- the end point for the Inca Trail. Visit in June to take advantage of the dry season and to avoid the heavy crowds in July and August. 960 1280

iStockPhoto  

Father's Day

Father's Day

Don’t forget about Dad this month. Spend some extra time with your father figure by planning a trip to go fly fishing, rock climbing or skydiving. For a getaway minus the adrenaline-pumping thrills, we have a few Father’s Day travel ideas like a brewery tour in Portland, OR, or game of golf in Myrtle Beach, SC. 960 1280

iStockPhoto  

Glastonbury Music Festival

Glastonbury Music Festival

Since 1970, music fans and art lovers have swarmed to Pilton, Somerset, England, to attend the Glastonbury Festival. Only 1,500 people attended the first festival, and today more than 170,000 people flock to Worthy Farm -- owned by festival organizer Michael Eavis -- to hear leading pop and rock artists as well as other forms of art, including dance, comedy, theater, circus and cabaret. 960 1280

Jim Dyson/Getty Images  

Gettysburg Fest

Gettysburg Fest

The Battle of Gettysburg -- the bloodiest battle in American history -- is known as the turning point in the American Civil War. Today, locals and tourists don’t have to be history buffs to enjoy the annual Gettysburg Fest. This 5-day festival has more than 50 live performances on 7 stages, 7 art shows, culinary experiences, movie premieres and more. Over the past 6 years, more than 3,000 artists, musicians and performers --The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, blues artist Robert Cray and world-renowned guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli -- have been featured at the festival. 960 1280

Flickr Vision / Getty Images   

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

June marks the official start of summer, and what better way to welcome the Summer Solstice than by joining thousands of people at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. It’s not uncommon for groups to celebrate by performing impromptu ceremonies that include samba bands and drummers. No amplified music is allowed here. 960 1280

E+ / Getty Images  

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877. Starting towards the end of June and lasting approximately 2 weeks, or until all events are complete, tickets for Wimbledon are always in fierce demand, especially with pro tennis players like Andy Murray competing. 960 1280

Julian Finney/Getty Images