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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Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave the paparazzi and dozens of anxious spectators their first glimpse of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces – as they walked outside of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, on May 2, 2015. 960 1280

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Airport’s military terminal for a windy start to their tour on April 7, 2014, in Wellington, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a 3-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, their first official trip overseas with their son. 960 1280

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Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge joined 10 other babies and their parents for a playdate at the Government House, the principal residence of the Governor-General of New Zealand. With George being just 8 months old, his first major royal engagement involved lots of toys and attempting to eat his mother’s famous locks. 960 1280

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The royal baby has finally arrived! Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son, as they stand outside St. Mary's Hospital, in central London. 960 1280

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a service of celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. 960 1280

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Prince Harry walks with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as they view areas of the boardwalk that have been repaired in Seaside Heights, a beach town in New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy. 960 1280

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During a visit to the US, Prince Harry visits Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. 960 1280

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Prince Harry plays sitting volleyball with members of the British Warrior Games team, before the opening of the Warrior Games at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. The Warrior Games is a Paralympic-style competition featuring injured servicemen and women from the US, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. 960 1280

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Prince Harry kneels down at the bottom of a pyramid of cheerleaders, US and British military officials and near the U.S. Air Force Academy mascot "The Bird" at the academy in Colorado Springs, CO. 960 1280

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The royal couple visit Singapore Botanical Gardens on their Diamond Jubilee tour. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks past the super trees during a visit to Gardens By The Bay as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour in Singapore. 960 1280

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge tour the Kranji War Memorial in Signapore on their Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East. 960 1280

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge travel in a special boat vehicle as they arrive at Honiara International Airport during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. 960 1280

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Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, ride a traditional war canoe as they arrive in Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands. 960 1280

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Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, cross a bridge at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley on the island of Borneo. The royal couple are on a nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. 960 1280

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge reviews a Guard of Honour as he visits the Istana on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour in Singapore. 960 1280

Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, Singapore  

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Albert II of Monaco and official team GB ambassador Robin Cousins watch Synchronized Swimming at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

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Prince Harry talks to Gold medal winning rower Sophie Hosking at Team GB House in the Westfield Centre at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

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Carole Coe, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips watch the Track Cycling at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

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Zara Phillips (Queen’s granddaughter) of Great Britain rides High Kingdom after competing in the Individual Jumping Equestrian Final of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park. 960 1280

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth watches the morning session of the swimming at the Aquatics Centre during her visit to the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

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Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge, meets Great Britain’s sailing gold-medalist Ben Ainslie at the Weymouth & Portland venue near Weymouth Harbor. 960 1280

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The Duchess of Cambridge was in the audience to witness Romanian gymnast Sandra Raluca Izbasa compete in the women’s vault final during the Artistic Gymnastics at the North Greenwich in London. 960 1280

Ezra Shaw  

Prince William talks to silver-medalist kayaker Jessica Fox of Australia during a visit to the Team Great Britain house. Will and Kate requested the visit be arranged in order to allow them to say thank you to volunteers for playing their part in the staging of the games. 960 1280

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The Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge join in with the crowd to do “the wave” at the Velodrome. 960 1280

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Prince Harry talks with athletes, including Great Britain's Jessica Ennis (3rd from R) during a visit to Team Great Britain’s flats in Olympic Village, located in Stratford. 960 1280

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Will and Kate hug in excitement after the British men’s cycling team breaks a world record during a qualifying round at the Velodrome. 960 1280

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images  

Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice watch the cross-country equestrian event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 960 1280

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Victoria Barracks during a medal parade for the 1st Battalion Irish Guards Regiment in Windsor, UK. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, rows a dragon boat across Dalvay Lake in Charlottetown, Canada. The royal couple’s trip to North America included touring more remote areas of Canada, such as Prince Edward Island, Yellowknife and Calgary. 960 1280

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The Duke of Cambridge takes a shot while playing hockey while his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, cheers him on in Yellowknife, Canada. 960 1280

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The royal couple, in cowboy attire, joined millions of Canadians taking part in Canada Day celebrations. 960 1280

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Dressed to the nines, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the 2011 BAFTA Brits in Los Angeles. 960 1280

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Prince William shows off his equestrian skills in the Foundation Polo Challenge in Santa Barbara, CA. 960 1280

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend Royal Ascot in Ascot, England. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, pose for a photo with members of the Canadian Forces flight crew after arriving in Calgary, Canada, during their first joint overseas tour. 960 1280

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Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Price Harry wave to the crowd at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee. 960 1280

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wave to the crowd from the royal barge during the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant in London. 960 1280

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Queen Elizabeth II share a laugh during a children's sporting event while in Vernon Park, Nottingham for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. 960 1280

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Torchbearer Scott Moorhouse, a Paralympic javelin thrower, hands the Olympic flame to Jay Kamiraz while standing with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. 960 1280

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Queen Elizabeth II takes center stage to say a few words during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games at Olympic Stadium. 960 1280

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a cross-country equestrian event during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park. 960 1280

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Royal Spotting  42 Photos

Madison Avenue - Mad Men
Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue

The ad men of Madison Avenue unleash their creative juices, and sometimes a little bit more, on Manhattan’s famed north-south avenue. Don a fedora like Mr. Draper, and explore the avenue’s famed architecture in style. Just don’t look too hard for Sterling Cooper’s offices at 405 Madison Avenue -- it doesn’t exist. 960 1280

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NY Rail Travel

NY Rail Travel

Work hard, play hard in Manhattan, and when evening comes, take the train up to the wife and kids in posh Westchester County. And so it goes for chain-smoking, debonair Don Draper. Leave behind the hustle-and-bustle of the Big Apple yourself, and take the Ethan Allen Express from NYC to Rutland, VT, passing through the Catskills and Vermont’s Green Mountains on the way. 960 1280

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Betty and Don Draper's House

Betty and Don Draper's House

The fresh white paint, the perfectly manicured lawn … everything seems just a little too perfect. And for Don and Betty Draper, it is -- in fact, this house isn’t really located at 42 Bullet Park Road in Ossining, NY. It’s actually in Pasadena, CA. 960 1280

waltarrrr, flickr   

The Roosevelt Hotel

The Roosevelt Hotel

Sorry, Don, but you had it coming: The lying, the cheating -- Betty had no choice. See the Midtown Manhattan hotel where Don stayed after his wife gave him the boot. Of course, with its grand interior décor from posh mahogany furniture to luxurious suites, you may not ever want to leave. 960 1280

The Roosevelt Hotel  

LA Music Center

LA Music Center

Ah, Roma! A city packed with ancient wonders -- but it was Betty’s Colosseum-high-hair we couldn’t keep our eyes off during her trip to the Eternal City with Don. Which may explain why location didn’t really matter so much; the episode was actually filmed at the Music Center in downtown LA -- a city landmark for the arts since it opened in 1964. 960 1280

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P.J. Clarke’s

P.J. Clarke’s

“Should we drink before the meeting, after the meeting or both?” That is the question, and the guys and gals of Mad Men find the answer at this famous saloon on Third Avenue in Manhattan. Kick back with a selection of specialty cocktails, wine, beer and spirits. You’ll find plenty of options -- whether you swing by before, during or after a meeting. 960 1280

Sheila Y., flickr  

Oyster Bar

Oyster Bar

Make it a 3-martini power lunch at this iconic seafood restaurant in Grand Central Terminal’s lower level. Just don’t get too plastered on oysters and vodka if you have a big business meeting that same day -- unless, of course, your name is Roger Sterling, and it’s payback time for hitting on Don’s wife a few nights before. Bad move, Roger -- Don’s got your number. 960 1280

Jazz Guy, flickr  

Dublin House

Dublin House

We knew Joan’s fiancé, Greg, was no good, especially after his behavior with Joan in Roger’s office one day. So when Greg says he’s been sitting in the Dublin House until 2 a.m. after being declined a medical residency, we say, “Stay there!” Of course, you may want to as well, and for all the right reasons: This Upper West Side Bar has some of the best Guinness this side of the pond. 960 1280

Paul Lowry, flickr  

Bloomingdales

Bloomingdales

Oh, Pete, you’re such a bad, bad boy. Too bad Trudy didn’t realize as much before you rather ungraciously returned the ceramic chip-and-dip platter from her aunt here. (How could you?!) Fill your own “Little Brown Bag” up at this legendary department store on Third Avenue in Midtown. And don’t worry: Your secret’s safe with us if you return the chip and dip. 960 1280

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The Pierre Hotel

The Pierre Hotel

We still don’t get why Peggy had a tryst with over-the-hill Duck Phillips -- and at this elegant hotel overlooking Central Park, too. (Seriously, Peggy, what were you thinking?!) Obliterate the memory from your mind, and enjoy the Pierre’s finer side, from its high ceilings and abundant natural light to a delectable evening for 2 at the hotel’s Sirio Ristorante. Men named “Duck” not invited. 960 1280

The Pierre Hotel  

Sardi’s

Sardi’s

Do not cross Don Draper -- Bobbie Barrett learns that first-hand at this famed NYC restaurant. The walls of this restaurant showcase hundreds of caricatures of show-business celebrities. This veritable Broadway institution is also the birthplace of the Tony Award. 960 1280

Jazz Guy, flickr  

Bob's Big Boy Broiler

Bob's Big Boy Broiler

Welcome to the diner where lust turned to love: It all started with a milkshake -- it spilled, and Don got angry at his careless kid. But then the secretary-on-vacation-with-the-family, Megan, stepped in and cleaned up the mess and … Don’s heart melted. Visit the scene of it all at this iconic American diner in Downey, CA. 960 1280

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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

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12 Photos
Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

On your mark, get set … it’s off to Louisville for the granddaddy of all horse races. In time-honored tradition, the 140th annual Kentucky Derby -- the first leg of the Triple Crown -- kicks off the first Saturday in May. Settle into your seat at Churchill Downs racetrack on Central Avenue, sip a mint julep and enjoy the "Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports." 960 1280

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Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza

Mother’s Day Tea at The Plaza

Mom is always fussing over you, now’s your chance to turn the tables -- in style. Treat Mom to afternoon tea at The Plaza’s Tea Room. A tradition since the hotel opened in 1907, tea at this NYC landmark has inspired scenes in popular films and novels, including Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Mom can enjoy a selection of sandwiches and savories from the Fitzgerald Tea for the Ages and The New Yorker menus. 960 1280

The Plaza  

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

La lumière, la caméra, l'action! Slip on some shades, and head to the French Riviera for the largest annual showcase of cinema in the world. Don’t have a ticket to events inside the Palais des Festivals et des Congres building where the festival is held? Pas de probleme! Enjoy open-air shows at the Cinema de la Plage, and for celebrity sightings show up extra-early outside the Palais. You may just spot Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman or Steven Spielberg on this year’s red carpet. 960 1280

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Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500

Rev up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans right behind) this annual race is quite possibly the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world, attracting roughly 400,000 spectators. Head to Indianapolis the last weekend in May, and prepare for a high-speed show around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval circuit. 960 1280

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Brighton Festival, England

Brighton Festival, England

Enjoy a 3-week celebration of music, theater, dance, art and film at the 47th annual Brighton Festival. Held each May in the southeastern English city of Brighton and Hove, the gathering is the largest multi-art form festival in all of England: More than 370 performances from artists such as Sinead O’Connor and 3-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams, are slated for 2013. 960 1280

Brighton Festival  

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Take in the small-town charm of Winchester, VA, in this 6-day celebration of spring. First held in 1924, the annual festival packs a wallop of more than 30 events into its lineup: band competitions, dances, parades, carnival, a 10K race, the coronation of Queen Shenandoah and so much more, attracting crowds in excess of 250,000. 960 1280

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival   

Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank

Whale Watching, Stellwagen Bank

Did winter come and go without you getting a chance to see whales? There’s still time: Between May and September, more than 400 orcas swim in the waters around Canada’s Vancouver Island. Or head to the Azores, the Portuguese archipelago about 1,000 miles from Lisbon, where sperm whales gather from May to October. Closer to home, Stellwagen Bank, a submerged sandbank between Cape Cod and Cape Ann in Massachusetts, attracts the endangered North Atlantic right whale to its waters. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

When chef Mark Abernathy of Arkansas restaurants Red Door and Loca Luna kicks the bucket, he wants to skip heaven and head straight for this food extravaganza. Such is the praise heaped on this annual fest by critically acclaimed chefs. Now in its third year, the gathering celebrates the best of Southern cuisine’s past and future, with cooking and cocktail demos, tasting tents and seminars on everything from the history of the Southern cocktail to Southern beer culture. 960 1280

AFWF/Raftermen  

National Bike Month

National Bike Month

Dust off that old bike, or buy a new one: It’s National Bike Month. Cities nationwide, including Austin, Boston, Santa Barbara, and Portland (pictured), are among the cities actively participating in the event. In San Francisco, you’ll find “energizer stations” this month, with food, drinks, red blinky lights and reflective leg bands available for bikers participating in the month-long public awareness campaign. Sounds like a great way to get free stuff -- and get in shape! 960 1280

Portland  

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo (meaning "fifth of May" in Spanish) right here in the United States. Nationwide, there are more than 120 official US celebrations, spanning 21 states, in cities such as Cleveland, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. The holiday stretches back to the first few years of the American Civil War, when Mexican-American communities sought to commemorate the causes of freedom and democracy. Head to downtown Denver for one such celebration: Here, members of a Mexican folkloric dance academy perform at the city’s Civic Center Park. 
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Vesak (Buddha Day)

Vesak (Buddha Day)

Seeking enlightenment? Celebrate Buddha’s birthday this May. Or take in the festivities as Buddhist devotees mark the occasion in Southeast Asian countries from Nepal to the Indonesian island of Java (pictured). Here, Buddhist monks pray at Borobudur, a 9th-century temple (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) that is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction. 960 1280

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Head to this amphitheater at Carlsbad Caverns National Park for a grand show: Each May Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from a large, rocky passage within Carlsbad Cavern in search of a tasty mix of insects for dinner. In case you’ve happened on this wondrous sight in southeastern New Mexico with your family (and your kids have questions), a park ranger gives an informative talk as visitors wait for the bats to come out. 960 1280

carlfbagge, flickr  

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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