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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Songkran Water Festival
Songkran Water Festival

Songkran Water Festival

Known as the Water Festival by visitors, this annual festival in Thailand falls shortly after the spring equinox. Songkran (based on a Sanskrit word for “astrological passage”) is celebrated in the country as the traditional New Year’s Day. Along with visiting elders and going to a Buddhist monastery, festivities include throwing of water – in this case, with a little help from an elephant! 960 1280

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White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll

President Obama gathers with schoolchildren on the White House lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. Held on Easter Monday, the yearly tradition is commonly believed to have started in 1814, organized by First Lady Dolley Madison. 960 1280

Reuters  

Semana Santa

Semana Santa

An important holiday in largely Catholic countries like Mexico and Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) showcases colorful parades, Masses, fireworks and elaborate ceremonies, like these celebrants in Roman garb placing crosses on a stone overlook. Semana Santa also coincides with spring break; you may see a sand sculpture of the Last Supper on a Mexican beach during this time! 960 1280

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Holi

Holi

Spring wouldn’t be the same in northern India without this annual festival. Celebrated by Hindus, who throw colored powder at each other, this vibrant festival of colors celebrates the season’s many hues, as well as events from Hindu mythology, such as when a devotee of Lord Vishnu was saved from death. 960 1280

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Nowruz

Nowruz

Widely referred to as the Persian New Year, this annual festival also marks the first day of spring -- which is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox (usually around March 21). Nowruz is celebrated throughout Central Asia and here, in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishek. 960 1280

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Passover

Passover

One of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, Passover commemorates the story of the ancient Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt – items on this “seder plate” showcase symbolic foods related to the story. The weeklong holiday always falls during the spring season, based on a biblical commandment: “Guard the month of spring, and make then the Passover offering.”  960 1280

Daniel Gonzalez / iStock / Thinkstock  

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

Competitors race down a steep hill -- known as Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester, England -- as they vie for the day’s ultimate prize: a round of Double Gloucester cheese. This centuries-old tradition is held on the UK’s Spring Bank Holiday, attracting not only locals from the nearby village of Brockworth but also people from all over the world. 960 1280

Emma Wood / Britain On View / Getty Images  

Holla Mohalla

Holla Mohalla

One day after the Hindu festival of Holi, another big spring celebration occurs: Holla Mohalla. During this 3-day Sikh festival, celebrants showcase their martial skills in mock fights (thus, the meaning of the holiday’s name) -- and the art of fire breathing, like here on a street in the northwest Indian state of Punjab. The spring festival is also a time when followers reaffirm their dedication to Khalsa Panth (the worldwide community of Sikhs). 960 1280

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Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Cimburijada (Festival of Scrambled Eggs)

Eggs, eggs and more eggs -- every year, at the crack of dawn, people from the Bosnian town of Zenica gather by the Bosna River to celebrate the first day of spring. Known as Ciumburijada, or “Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” the event begins with the preparation of a traditional breakfast -- or in this case, a super-sized bowl of eggs for the masses. 960 1280

Reuters  

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night

Named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga, this traditional spring festival is celebrated across Central and Northern Europe -- exactly 6 months after All Hallows’ Eve. Among the places that hold celebrations (which include dancing and bonfires) is the open-air museum of Skansen in Stockholm, pictured here.  960 1280

Sven Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images  

Las Fallas

Las Fallas

Whimsical characters, known as fallas, are a familiar sight during this annual 5-day celebration. The origin of one of Spain’s most rowdy holidays is uncertain; some say Las Fallas began in the Middle Ages, when artisans burned pieces of wood they’d saved during the winter in celebration of the spring equinox. Over time, under the Catholic Church’s influence, the holiday has developed into a celebration to commemorate Saint Joseph. 960 1280

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Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Spring Equinox in Teotihuacán

Every year, on the 20th or 21st of March, thousands of people gather at this enormous, pre-Hispanic archeological site, roughly 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, to celebrate the spring equinox. Between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., many celebrants climb the 360 steps to the top of Pyramid of the Sun, the largest structure in the area, to get closer to portals of energy. 960 1280

REUTERS/Gerardo Garcia  

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Celebrate the homegrown music and culture of the Big Easy at this annual jazz fest. This year’s lineup showcases old and new music greats, including John Mayer, the Dave Matthews Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, The Black Keys, Patti Smith, Gipsy Kings and blues legend B.B. King. 960 1280

Rick Diamond/Getty Images  

Patrouille des Glaciers

Patrouille des Glaciers

Take in Switzerland’s grand vistas in this ski mountaineering race. Held every 2 years at the end of April, the nearly 32-mile-long race organized by the Swiss Army occurs in the southern part of the canton of Valais, below the summits of Switzerland’s Pennine Alps. By foot and ski, this mountaineering trek will be one for the memory books. 960 1280

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images  

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Head to Southern California’s Coachella Valley for this 3-day music fest. This year’s featured performers include alternative rock pioneers like The Stone Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers. It also pays to think green: Drive to the event with 4 or more people in your car, marked “carpoolchella,” and a secret spotter may give everyone in the car VIP tickets. 960 1280

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic  

Earth Day

Earth Day

Be part of an awe-inspiring effort: Every year more than 1 billion people worldwide gather to protect Mother Earth. Held on April 22, this global campaign unites individuals, communities and more in an effort to combat climate change. In the weeks beforehand, another global event occurs: Earth Hour, in which individuals from more than 135 countries gather in a show of solidarity to protect the environment, as in this shot taken in Dubai. 960 1280

Reuters/Jumana El Heloueh   

Amsterdam’s Tulip Season

Amsterdam’s Tulip Season

Take in the breathtaking burst of color at Amsterdam’s Keukenhof Gardens. The world’s largest flower garden spans 70 acres, with more than 7 million bulbs in bloom come springtime: In addition to tulips, visitors can enjoy gardens of daffodils, hyacinths, gladioli and hyacinths -- you’ll want to make sure your camera phone has plenty of juice to capture this show. 960 1280

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Arctic Circle Race

Arctic Circle Race

Ready for a seriously awe-inspiring challenge? This annual skiing race is billed as “world’s toughest ski race” -- and that’s no exaggeration. Held in Sisimiut, Greenland, this extreme cross-country skiing event sees participants traverse nearly 100 miles, over the course of 3 days, through the stunning and sometimes harsh Greenlandic terrain. 960 1280

Article Circle Race   

Iceland’s First Day of Summer

Iceland’s First Day of Summer

With winter days that offer only 4 or 5 hours of daylight, the coming of summer is welcomed as a national holiday in Iceland. Even though the climate in late April isn’t summer-like just yet, after a long winter it’s still a welcome reprieve -- and the perfect excuse for Icelanders to celebrate with a lineup of parades, sporting events and other outdoor fun -- pony ride, anyone? 960 1280

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NCAA Final Four

NCAA Final Four

From awe-inspiring blocks to incredible dunks, see the most dramatic moments in men’s college basketball play out at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome this April. See the dizzying speed of March Madness conclude as the Final Four vie for the championship trophy. And the winner is …? 960 1280

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Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament

One of the 4 big-daddy events in professional golf, the Masters is the place to be this month for golf pros and enthusiasts alike. With Augusta National Golf Club as the home base, this year’s event is sure to hold plenty of nail-biting moments, like whether Tiger Woods can end his 5-year majors slump with a win on golf’s biggest stage. 960 1280

Andrew Redington/Getty Images  

Berck-Sur-Mer Kite Festival

Berck-Sur-Mer Kite Festival

See Europe’s biggest kite festival soar to astounding heights. Held annually in the French commune of Berck-sur-Mer, along northern France’s Opal Coast, the event draws kite fliers from all over the world, who dazzle with colorful, air-borne creations before crowds of roughly 600,000 spectators. 960 1280

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images  

National Park Week

National Park Week

Incredible natural beauty is yours -- for free -- during National Park Week in late April. Enjoy free entrance to any of 401 national parks nationwide, taking in the sights of seashores, battlefields, archaeological sites, historic homes and magnificent natural wonders such as the many countless waterfalls at Yosemite National Park. 960 1280

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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Few endurance competitions are more awe-inspiring than this: The world’s oldest annual marathon -- and one of the world’s most prestigious road-racing events -- held the third Monday of April, on Patriots’ Day. Here, Canada’s Joshua Cassidy races to the finish line in the men’s wheelchair race. 960 1280

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images  

Biltmore Flower Festival

Biltmore Flower Festival

How’s this for a majestic sight: more than 72,000 tulips, spanning 4 acres, at Biltmore Estate. The stately grounds, tucked in the mountains of Asheville, NC, include the Walled Garden, where you’ll find all those vibrant tulips, as well as the Azalea and Spring Gardens, where your eyes can gorge on even more blooms. 960 1280

The Biltmore Company  

Toonik Tyme

Toonik Tyme

Mind-blowing creations await at the annual Inuit festival of Toonik Tyme, a weeklong event that welcomes back the sun to the Arctic. But, being just 100 miles from the Arctic Circle, it’s still mighty cold: Among the event’s headliners is an ice sculpture competition in a town called Auyuittuq -- an Inuktitut word that means “the land that never melts.” In years past, ice-carving competitors have competed for what just may be the ultimate prize round this neck of the woods: airline tickets for a trip down south (naturally). 960 1280

Ed Maruyama  

Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Head to Chicago?s historic Grant Park for a 3-day, ultimate jam session featuring artists from a variety of genres, including alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip-hop. This year?s lineup includes rock band Kings of Leon, rapper Eminem and newcomer Lorde. 960 1280

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La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes are the star of this annual tomato-throwing festival. La Tomatina, possibly the world?s biggest food fight, has been held in the town of Bunol in the Valencia region of Spain since 1945. Let loose and start throwing, just make sure to bring a pair of goggles -- more than 100 tons of over-ripe tomatoes will be thrown into the streets! 960 1280

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PGA Championship (Louisville, KY)

PGA Championship (Louisville, KY)

Love golf? Tee up and head to this annual golf tournament, one of the 4 major championships in pro golf. This year’s PGA Championship takes center stage at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. 960 1280

PGA of America / Getty Images  

Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

Do your patriotic duty, and honor the Aloha State with a visit this month -- August 21 marks Hawaii?s admittance as the 50th state. Lap up the waves on Oahu?s North Shore; and for culinary fare, we?ve got the inside scoop on 4 ways to eat like a local on Oahu. 960 1280

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Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Shake, rattle and roll! Memphis, TN, marks its annual Elvis Week celebration each August -- and this year, Elvis fans are all shook up with something extra-special: it?s the 60th anniversary year of rock ?n? roll. Another big draw: the annual Elvis Tribute Artists contest -- who will be crowned the King? 960 1280

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Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, ME)

Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, ME)

The annual Maine Lobster Festival kicks off this month, and you won?t want to miss a moment of it! Over the course of the 5-day festival, more than 20,000 lbs. of lobster will be served -- lobster rolls, lobster wraps, lobster Caesar salad?did we say lobster? Plus, see the annual Lobster Crate Race, cooking contest and the Maine Sea Goddess coronation! 960 1280

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Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival (Seattle)

Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival (Seattle)

Get a full dose of culture during Labor Day weekend. Head to Seattle for this music and arts fest -- it?s one of the largest in North America. Bumbershoot began in 1971; today the annual gathering draws artists in film, music, spoken word, theater, dance, visual arts and more. Like we said, it?s big. 960 1280

Christopher Nelson  

US Open Tennis Tournament (Queens, NY)

US Open Tennis Tournament (Queens, NY)

The stars of tennis hit the court for one of the oldest tennis championships in the world. First held in 1881, the US Open is the fourth and final tennis major of the year’s Grand Slam tournaments -- and the only one held in North America. Last year’s cash prize totaled more than $24 million -- see the high-stakes action in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY. 960 1280

AFP / Getty Images  

Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon, Scotland)

Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon, Scotland)

Nice legs! See big, brawny men in flowing Scottish skirts compete in the largest Highland games in the world -- the Cowal Highland Gathering. Also known as the Cowal Games, the annual event is held in the Scottish town of Dunoon, attracting more than 23,000 spectators to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture. 960 1280

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images  

Hatch Chile Festival (Hatch, NM)

Hatch Chile Festival (Hatch, NM)

Chile aficionados, get your peppery fix at the Hatch Chile Festival. The annual fest kicks off at the end of August, and showcases mouthwatering (and burning) chile-packed dishes such as creamed corn, burritos and cheeseburgers. Thank Hatch Valley?s volcanic soil, plentiful sun and 4,000-foot elevation for their chiles? tasty perfection. 960 1280

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Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)

Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)

Imagine spending a week in a remote desert, cut off from the outside world, to experience and celebrate life. Get your chance at Burning Man -- the largest outdoor festival in North America. Each year, the annual event, held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, welcomes more than 60,000 people. You might want to switch your cell phone to airplane mode for this one. 960 1280

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart   

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Drive through South Dakota?s famed Black Hills, and meet 400,000 hardcore bikers and babes at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The annual event takes place the first week of August, with the usual motor-roarin? fanfare and bad-ass leather. But what we want to know is: Do you have what it takes to win this year?s Best Redneck Tattoo Contest? 960 1280

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State Fair Season

State Fair Season

State fair season kicks off in August; see the stars of the season like the Orange County Fair (pictured), which draws more than 1.5 million fairgoers, or the Minnesota State Fair, which Andrew Zimmern calls his own slice of heavenly obsession. With state fair staples like ice-cold lemonade and fried treats, we can see why. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

World’s Longest Yard Sale! (127 Corridor Sale)

World’s Longest Yard Sale! (127 Corridor Sale)

Proving one man?s trash is another man?s treasure?grab a wad of cash for the World?s Longest Yard Sale! Held the first week in August, this frugal-shopper?s dream stretches more than 690 miles -- from its birthplace in Jamestown, TN, all the way north to Addison, MI, and south to Gadsden, AL. 960 1280

Stephen Digges/Getty Images  

August Doins Rodeo (Payson, AZ)

August Doins Rodeo (Payson, AZ)

Slip on a pair of boots, and head to the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. First held in 1884, the August Doins Rodeo takes place each August in Arizona’s cool mountain town of Payson. Hold on to your hats, you’re in for some heart-stopping action! 960 1280

Andy Towle/Roundup  

Photos

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  

Presidential Inauguration

Presidential Inauguration

“Faith in America’s Future” was the theme of America’s 57th presidential inauguration. In a nod to 2 big milestones -- the 150th anniversary of both the Emancipation Proclamation and the Capitol dome’s completion -- the Washington, DC, festivities culminated in President Obama’s public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol’s west side. 960 1280

Reuters  

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Out of the ashes, a resilient triumph: In November One World Trade Center was officially named the tallest building in North America. The height of One World Trade Center was purposely set at 1,776 feet, in tribute to America’s Declaration of Independence and the nearly 3,000 Americans who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. 960 1280

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Prince George of Cambridge

Prince George of Cambridge

Royal baby mania gripped the world, as news crews waited outside London’s St. Mary’s Hospital for news of Kate and William’s royal delivery. Initial reports of a baby girl were quickly put to rest once the easel outside Buckingham Palace delivered the July 22 news: George Alexander Louis had arrived. 960 1280

Reuters  

Breaking Bad Tours

Breaking Bad Tours

It’s not every day that a city embraces its image as a meth-producing drug haven, unless, of course, that city is the subject of one of the most popular dramas of all time. Breaking Bad put Albuquerque on the map in a big way, and while Walt and Jesse’s adventures have ended, don’t count on Breaking Bad tours to follow suit anytime soon. 960 1280

ABQ Trolley Co.  

Government Shutdown, Blue Ridge Parkway

Government Shutdown, Blue Ridge Parkway

For the first time in 17 years, the US government shut down in October, and for the next 3 weeks, the nation watched as America’s national parks and memorials were barricaded. The grim news turned the spotlight on state parks nationwide, as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway, where travelers could still find reprieve. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Gettysburg Anniversary

Gettysburg Anniversary

At just under 300 words, the Gettysburg Address summed up what was at stake in the Civil War, and what the death of tens of thousands of young men could ultimately mean to a hurting nation. In November the town of Gettysburg celebrated Lincoln’s words, months after having marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. 960 1280

Reuters  

London Underground Anniversary

London Underground Anniversary

London had its own big 150th anniversary to celebrate this year, with the London Underground – the world’s first underground railway – marking its historic birthday. Various events throughout London have marked the Tube’s 150th anniversary, including a restored antique railway that traveled the same path as the Tube did back in 1863. 960 1280

iStock  

Pope Francis, Vatican City Tour

Pope Francis, Vatican City Tour

In a shock to the world, Pope Benedict abruptly resigned in February, becoming the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years. But then the world got a look at affable Pope Francis, originally from Argentina, and an upbeat air returned to this fascinating city-state within Italy, along with renewed interest in Vatican City tours. 960 1280

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Miss America, Atlantic City

Miss America, Atlantic City

It was exciting enough that the historic Miss America pageant returned to Atlantic City for the first time in 6 years. Then the pageant got even cooler when 2013’s winner turned out to be the first-ever Miss America of Indian descent: New York native Nina Davuluri. 960 1280

Getty Images  

JFK Assassination Anniversary, Dallas

JFK Assassination Anniversary, Dallas

A dark day in Dallas, and the nation’s history, was relived in late November, as somber crowds gathered in Dealey Plaza to remember America’s 35th president. This year marked the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, sparking epic reminiscences of how life changed that day. 960 1280

Reuters  

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal

In the 1970s, Grand Central Terminal was slated for demolition, until Jackie Kennedy joined in the effort to help save the iconic NYC train terminal. February marked Grand Central’s 100th anniversary, and with it, the continuation of a NYC landmark that sees some 700,000 commuters a day. 960 1280

Reuters  

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Beating out some formidable competition (Istanbul and Madrid), Tokyo landed a big win in September: For the first time since 1964, Japan’s capital got the nod to host the Summer Olympic Games. Slated for 2020, the games will unfold in Tokyo’s revamped National Olympic Stadium. 960 1280

Reuters  

Bret Michaels on Travel Channel

Bret Michaels on Travel Channel

In May, legendary rocker Bret Michaels traded in his mic for a sledgehammer and a whole new venture. As host of Travel Channel’s Rock My RV, Bret brought his passion for RVs to Travel’s audience, and proved that America’s favorite bandana-wearing rocker knows how to rock it in more ways than one. 960 1280

CARIN_BAER  

Hyperloop

Hyperloop

No, it’s not Blade Runner, it’s better: The futuristic Hyperloop will transport passengers in under 30 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The vision of billionaire Elon Musk, which he unveiled in August, the solar-powered transportation system is slated to take off once California state government approves the project. For commuters who must currently brave a 6-hour commute, that may not be a moment too soon. 960 1280

Elon Musk  

Obamas in Ireland

Obamas in Ireland

First Lady Michelle Obama’s paid a visit to the Emerald Isle in June with daughters Sasha and Malia. Part of the Obamas’ 2-day Ireland trip included a visit to the valley of Glendalough, in County Wicklow, where they met with local tour guide George McClafferty. No word on whether he sang, “There’s No One as Irish as Barack Obama,” to them in honor of the president’s Irish roots. 960 1280

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Ghost Adventures in Transylvania

Ghost Adventures in Transylvania

In October, Ghost Adventures ushered in its 100th episode in a monumental way, becoming the very first paranormal TV program to investigate the St. Louis home that inspired The Exorcist movie and novel. The crew followed up the 100th episode with another big turn, heading to Transylvania for Halloween. 960 1280

  

Nik Wallenda's Grand Canyon Walk

Nik Wallenda's Grand Canyon Walk

Plenty of nail-biting moments unfolded during the live broadcast of Nik Wallenda’s high-wire act near the Grand Canyon in June. The self-proclaimed “King of the Wire” walked across the Little Colorado River Gorge outside Grand Canyon National Park's borders, in under 25 minutes, with no safety harness. Can we say insane? 960 1280

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Boston World Series

Boston World Series

A city shaken by the Boston Marathon bombing in April rebounded with a bittersweet win in October, when the Boston Red Sox scored 3 runs in the third inning and 3 in the fourth to defeat St. Louis and win the World Series. 960 1280

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Philippines Typhoon

Philippines Typhoon

The Philippines suffered its most devastating loss in early November, when Typhoon Haiyan made landfall, killing nearly 10,000 people in what would become the deadliest typhoon in the Philippines’ history. 960 1280

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Antarctica

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Antarctica

The world’s sexiest models, across 7 continents. Sports Illustrated celebrated its 50th anniversary year in style 2013’s SI Swimsuit edition, with one eye-catching look of Kate Upton going polar bare in Antarctica. We went undercover ourselves, revealing SI’s sexiest models’ sexiest destination picks. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Celebrate the homegrown music and culture of the Big Easy at this annual jazz fest. This year’s lineup showcases old and new music greats, including John Mayer, the Dave Matthews Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, The Black Keys, Patti Smith, Gipsy Kings and blues legend B.B. King. 960 1280

Rick Diamond/Getty Images  

Patrouille des Glaciers

Patrouille des Glaciers

Take in Switzerland’s grand vistas in this ski mountaineering race. Held every 2 years at the end of April, the nearly 32-mile-long race organized by the Swiss Army occurs in the southern part of the canton of Valais, below the summits of Switzerland’s Pennine Alps. By foot and ski, this mountaineering trek will be one for the memory books. 960 1280

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images  

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Head to Southern California’s Coachella Valley for this 3-day music fest. This year’s featured performers include alternative rock pioneers like The Stone Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers. It also pays to think green: Drive to the event with 4 or more people in your car, marked “carpoolchella,” and a secret spotter may give everyone in the car VIP tickets. 960 1280

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic  

Earth Day

Earth Day

Be part of an awe-inspiring effort: Every year more than 1 billion people worldwide gather to protect Mother Earth. Held on April 22, this global campaign unites individuals, communities and more in an effort to combat climate change. In the weeks beforehand, another global event occurs: Earth Hour, in which individuals from more than 135 countries gather in a show of solidarity to protect the environment, as in this shot taken in Dubai. 960 1280

Reuters/Jumana El Heloueh   

Amsterdam’s Tulip Season

Amsterdam’s Tulip Season

Take in the breathtaking burst of color at Amsterdam’s Keukenhof Gardens. The world’s largest flower garden spans 70 acres, with more than 7 million bulbs in bloom come springtime: In addition to tulips, visitors can enjoy gardens of daffodils, hyacinths, gladioli and hyacinths -- you’ll want to make sure your camera phone has plenty of juice to capture this show. 960 1280

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Arctic Circle Race

Arctic Circle Race

Ready for a seriously awe-inspiring challenge? This annual skiing race is billed as “world’s toughest ski race” -- and that’s no exaggeration. Held in Sisimiut, Greenland, this extreme cross-country skiing event sees participants traverse nearly 100 miles, over the course of 3 days, through the stunning and sometimes harsh Greenlandic terrain. 960 1280

Article Circle Race   

Iceland’s First Day of Summer

Iceland’s First Day of Summer

With winter days that offer only 4 or 5 hours of daylight, the coming of summer is welcomed as a national holiday in Iceland. Even though the climate in late April isn’t summer-like just yet, after a long winter it’s still a welcome reprieve -- and the perfect excuse for Icelanders to celebrate with a lineup of parades, sporting events and other outdoor fun -- pony ride, anyone? 960 1280

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NCAA Final Four

NCAA Final Four

From awe-inspiring blocks to incredible dunks, see the most dramatic moments in men’s college basketball play out at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome this April. See the dizzying speed of March Madness conclude as the Final Four vie for the championship trophy. And the winner is …? 960 1280

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Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament

One of the 4 big-daddy events in professional golf, the Masters is the place to be this month for golf pros and enthusiasts alike. With Augusta National Golf Club as the home base, this year’s event is sure to hold plenty of nail-biting moments, like whether Tiger Woods can end his 5-year majors slump with a win on golf’s biggest stage. 960 1280

Andrew Redington/Getty Images  

Berck-Sur-Mer Kite Festival

Berck-Sur-Mer Kite Festival

See Europe’s biggest kite festival soar to astounding heights. Held annually in the French commune of Berck-sur-Mer, along northern France’s Opal Coast, the event draws kite fliers from all over the world, who dazzle with colorful, air-borne creations before crowds of roughly 600,000 spectators. 960 1280

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images  

National Park Week

National Park Week

Incredible natural beauty is yours -- for free -- during National Park Week in late April. Enjoy free entrance to any of 401 national parks nationwide, taking in the sights of seashores, battlefields, archaeological sites, historic homes and magnificent natural wonders such as the many countless waterfalls at Yosemite National Park. 960 1280

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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Few endurance competitions are more awe-inspiring than this: The world’s oldest annual marathon -- and one of the world’s most prestigious road-racing events -- held the third Monday of April, on Patriots’ Day. Here, Canada’s Joshua Cassidy races to the finish line in the men’s wheelchair race. 960 1280

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images  

Biltmore Flower Festival

Biltmore Flower Festival

How’s this for a majestic sight: more than 72,000 tulips, spanning 4 acres, at Biltmore Estate. The stately grounds, tucked in the mountains of Asheville, NC, include the Walled Garden, where you’ll find all those vibrant tulips, as well as the Azalea and Spring Gardens, where your eyes can gorge on even more blooms. 960 1280

The Biltmore Company  

Toonik Tyme

Toonik Tyme

Mind-blowing creations await at the annual Inuit festival of Toonik Tyme, a weeklong event that welcomes back the sun to the Arctic. But, being just 100 miles from the Arctic Circle, it’s still mighty cold: Among the event’s headliners is an ice sculpture competition in a town called Auyuittuq -- an Inuktitut word that means “the land that never melts.” In years past, ice-carving competitors have competed for what just may be the ultimate prize round this neck of the woods: airline tickets for a trip down south (naturally). 960 1280

Ed Maruyama