What's In, What's Out for 2013

In: Northern lights. Out: City lights. The year ahead is filled with up-and-coming travel trends to watch. Find out Travel Channel's picks for what's hot (and what's not) in 2013.

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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 2 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 tony 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Washington Nationals
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  

Photos

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.
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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.
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Getty  

Bolt Bus and Amtrak

Bolt Bus and Amtrak

In: Amtrak
Out: Bolt Bus
Oh, Bolt Bus, how we wanted to love you. A one-way ticket from DC to NYC costs only $25. After an orderly boarding at Union Station, we were all aglow. But then we were forced to sit for 30 minutes at a time in several nasty Jersey Turnpike rest stops. We thought we could still be friends. But then we got to the embarkation point in NYC for the trip home. Holy nasty corner and crowds, Batman! After a street-side scuffle over luggage space, we were done. Dear Acela, please let us pay you $166 one way, we won’t leave you again.
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In: Pacific Northwest
Skiing Out: European Summer
Skiing The Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting “clime and punishment” for the winter of 2012, a season of unusually cold and stormy weather that will be strongly influenced by La Nina. Translation? Ski bonanza for the Pacific Northwest! At the same time, European ski resorts across the Alps are being forced to close summer ski areas due to the combined effects of global warming and glacial melting. In 2012, only 3 resorts in France are able to offer conditions suitable for summer skiing.
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In: Dirty Hotel Towels
Out: Stealing Hotel Towels

You, too, can help save the planet by simply reusing hotel room towels and linens. According to Green Suites, a hospitality service company, when guests participate in towel and linen reuse programs, an average 150-room hotel can save 6,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of detergent monthly. And for those of us who sometimes find a towel in our luggage, FYI: Linen Technology Tracking has patented a washable chip for hotels to sew into towels, robes and bed sheets that triggers an alarm when tagged items leave the premises. Ouch.
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Eyecandy Images  

In: Stockholm
Out: Venice

Last year, around Christmas time, we had our Italy travel guides primed in anticipation of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie zooming around the canals of Venice in The Tourist. In 2012, we’re all about the dark side of Stockholm as the US version of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo brings us a menacing Daniel Craig and badass Rooney Mara. Here’s to a very Scandinavian 2012.
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In: Traveling Social
Out: Traveling Solo
Savvy travelers have been using TripAdvisor to help plan getaways for several years, and going forward, social travel website and app launches will only accelerate. A dizzying glut of startups hope to cash in on the trend in 2012 with services that run the gamut from sharing and planning itineraries to meeting up with people along the way.
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In: Mayans
Out: Incas

Silly Incas, you need to predict a world apocalypse if you want to be “In” next time. Maya calendar buffs will want to visit a few key sites this year on or before Dec. 12, 2012, the date on which the world is predicted to end (or be reborn) in the Mayan “long count” calendar. Mexico’s Tortuguero no longer exists as an archaeological site, but Monument 6, its most famous relic containing the only text bearing the actual date, is now housed in the Museo Regional de Antropología Carlos Pellicer Cámara in Villahermosa.
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Don Bayley  

In: Space Hotels
Out: Underwater Hotels
This year Galactic Suites plans to open the world’s first orbiting hotel. The Barcelona-based company says guests will orbit the earth every 80 minutes, see the sun rise 15 times a day and crawl around pod rooms using Velcro suits. Your 3-day stay in space will cost approximately $4 million. Meanwhile, Poseidon Undersea Resorts, a proposed chain of underwater hotels, was slated to open its first property in Fiji by 2008. We’re still waiting to sleep with the fishes.
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conrad maldives hotel  

In: Books on Mobile
Out: Books on Kindle

Last year we carried our laptop for work, mobile for texting, tablet for movies and Kindle for books. But this year we’re asking ourselves, “Why carry an extra device when we can download our library to a mobile phone or tablet?” From handy dandy travel guides to beach reads to movies and Angry Birds, the tablet or phone can handle them all. Some of us remember the days when we tore the pages out of our “Let’s Go” after we left a destination to save room in our backpack. You kids have it so easy.
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In: Lima for Eating
Out: Lima for Breathing

Recently this coastal city has been drawing foodies from all over the world to sample a new breed of modern cuisine reflecting Lima's cultural mix of Spanish, African, Chinese and Japanese. The country’s long Pacific coast provides an endless bounty of fresh seafood for all sorts of recipes, including Lima's signature dish -- ceviche. Unfortunately the Peruvian capitol suffers from the worst air pollution of any South American capital.
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Ildiko Papp  

In: Edutravel
Out: Glamping

NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are, a program on which celebrities trace their genealogy to destinations across the globe, is capitalizing on a trend that travelers are also embracing -- trips on which learning and activity is emphasized over lazing around the beach or pool. Many tour companies are also offering trips where experts lead the way through historical, scientific and archaeological sites. We’re up for these authentic experiences over last year’s kind-of creepy “glamping” trend. Even the Sex and the City women can’t pull off couture while riding a camel.
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In: 4-Wheeled Luggage
Out: 2-Wheeled Luggage
The first time we saw a woman in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle gliding along next to her suitcase as she daintily guided the large bag down the concourse, we did a double take. We were shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to notice the thing had 4 multi-directional wheels. We were skeptical even as our right shoulder ached from the weight the 2-wheeler that added several feet to our total length. Color us convinced. WANT.
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In: Sonoma, CA
Out: Napa, CA

Wine connoisseurs have long been in on the secret that Sonoma’s 300-plus wineries offer superlative tasting, but travelers have discovered that Sonoma has a more well-rounded flavor than her sister county, Napa. From floating the Russian River to hiking through ancient redwood stands, to browsing Petaluma’s Victorian row to sampling Sepastopol’s Gravenstein apple pies, Sonoma satisfies all tastes.
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Chris Boswell  

In: Mérida
Out: Cancun

Travelers to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in 2012 are forgoing the tired Americaland of Cancun and turning to the “real Mexico” a few hours inland at Merida. The city’s Spanish colonial center is ringed by 16th-century cathedrals and free art museums. Plus, 5 Mayan sites are situated on public bus routes. It’s simple to arrange day trips to the region’s magical cenotes (water-filled limestone sinkholes unique to the Yucatan), as well as the village of Celestún where hundreds of pink flamingos nest and feed in the mangroves.
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Joao Canziani  

15 Photos
Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle

Midnight Sun, Arctic Circle

The sun shines at … midnight. Take in the magical sight of the midnight sun this June in places like Hornstrandir, Iceland’s northernmost peninsula, just a few miles from the Arctic Circle. Here, the sun is visible for 24 consecutive hours, as the sun barely disappears below the horizon. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Nude Bathing, Iceland

Nude Bathing, Iceland

Keep Father Time -- and maybe a few wrinkles -- at bay with a nude dip in a balmy hot spring. That personal prescription for wellness comes straight from Icelandic lore, and true to form, Icelanders take a nude dip in hot springs and the surrounding sea every June 24. They also live long lives. Coincidence? 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

See the Purple People Eater, Sushi the Flying Fish and other colorful balloon characters soar through the skies of California’s wine country. Since its start 23 years ago, this annual summer event in the town of Windsor, CA, has gone on to draw balloon pilots from all over the country. You can also enjoy a tethered ride, hovering 50 feet above the ground. 960 1280

star5112, flickr  

Destination Wedding in …

Destination Wedding in …

Getting married this month? Don’t just dream of being a June bride, make it a reality in some of the most weather-perfect places to tie the knot this month. Our friends at weathertrends360 have forecasted June’s top 5 clear-sky destinations: Bar Harbor, ME (best time June 21-30); Orlando (June 1-8); NYC (June 21-30); Napa Valley (June 9-16); and San Francisco (June 10-17). 960 1280

Getty Images  

Summer Holiday in Newquay, UK

Summer Holiday in Newquay, UK

If you love to surf and travel, combine both passions with a trip to this seaside town in southwest England. June kicks off the best time of year to visit Newquay, widely touted as the surf capital of the UK. Situated on a gorgeous stretch of the Atlantic Coast, the town boasts 9 long and easily accessible beaches – head to Fistral Beach, home to some of the best breaks in the area. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez

If all things French are calling your name, book a trip to Saint Tropez. June is one of the best times of year to savor this glamorous seaside town on the French Riviera, home to beautiful beaches like the golden-sand stretch of Plage Port Grimaud. Plan your last-minute getaway with our travel deals experts. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Gay Pride Celebrations

Gay Pride Celebrations

Celebrate freedom (and some really wild getups) in month-long gay pride celebrations worldwide. LGBT pride parades from San Francisco to Sydney are the highlight of the festivities, which hearken back to the days of gay resistance to police aggression in June 1969 at NYC’s Stonewall Inn, now a National Historic Landmark. 960 1280

Reuters  

Midsummer Festival, Sweden

Midsummer Festival, Sweden

Let the sun shine in! When the summer solstice arrives … and the Earth’s semi-axis is most inclined toward the sun … head to Sweden for the country’s traditional Midsummer Day, in late June. Here, locals carry heart-shaped wreaths as part of the festivities in the Swedish town of Leksand, about 150 miles from Stockholm. 960 1280

Reuters  

Kamehameha Day

Kamehameha Day

Get out your grass skirt out … and get ready to hula! It’s Kamehameha Day! Each June, Hawaii honors the monarch -- depicted here in a towering bronze statue in downtown Honolulu -- who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaii and brought coffee and pineapple to its shores. Plan your Hawaii getaway with our Big Island Weekend Guide. 960 1280

Daniel Ramirez, flickr   

Philippines Independence Day

Philippines Independence Day

Head to this archipelago of 7,107 islands in the western Pacific for the country’s national holiday marking its call for independence, first proclaimed in June 1898, and finally realized in 1946. Relax in a hillside villa on the small island of Boracay, or book a stay at El Nido Resorts, located on various islands in the area. 960 1280

REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo  

Katmai National Park, Alaska

Katmai National Park, Alaska

There’s only 1 place in the world to see this iconic image: Southern Alaska. And there’s only 1 time of year to see it: Late June through the end of July. Head to Katmai National Park to see some very hungry brown bears enjoy a feast of sockeye salmon that make their annual migratory run from the northern Pacific Ocean into park waters -- Brooks Camp is the place to the see this unrivaled nature show. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

South Florida’s Summer Savings

South Florida’s Summer Savings

You can’t jump into June without jumping into South Florida. Seriously, now is the time to enjoy discounted rates (in some cases, up to 50%) at area hotels and resorts. See how to do Miami and Fort Lauderdale on a budget, and for popular, family-friendly beach vibes, check out our Delray Beach Guide. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

June kicks off hurricane season in the Caribbean, but don’t let that stop you from savoring Caribbean heritage … right here in America. President Obama has named it National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and among the festivities happening nationwide is the DC Caribbean Carnival, an annual parade and festival held in late June. 960 1280

Alex Barth, flickr  

Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

If you’re hungry for snow, hightail it to this annual festival in New Zealand, which attracts thousands of skiers and snowboarders to the blindingly white slopes surrounding the resort town of Queenstown. A big draw is Coronet Peak, located 12 miles north of town, where powdery terrain comes courtesy of some of the country’s best snowmaking facilities. 960 1280

Queenstown Winter Festival  

Spoleto Festival, Charleston

Spoleto Festival, Charleston

Enjoy one of the world’s major performing arts festivals this June in Charleston, SC. Founded in 1977, the Spoleto Festival was the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti. The 17-day-long fest, named in honor of the ancient Italian city of Spoleto, showcases established and emerging artists through more than 150 performances of jazz, theater, dance, opera and classical music. 960 1280

Julia Lynn  


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