Where to Go in 2016

From a city built by our forefathers to the final frontier, our picks for where to go in 2016 may surprise you.

Photos

Walt Disney World Marathon

Walt Disney World Marathon

Kick off the New Year by earning your Disney medals! The annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend unfolds in mid-January, with 4 days of events that include a 5K, 10K and half marathon. Here, Adriano Bastos of Brazil crosses the finish line to win the 20th annual marathon. See more ideas for where to travel in January. 960 1280

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Tournament of Roses Parade

Tournament of Roses Parade

Head to the granddaddy of all college bowl games this January. The famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, has been played annually since 1916. Cap off festivities with an even older tradition -- the annual Tournament of the Roses Parade, “America’s New Year Celebration” since 1895. 960 1280

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New Year's Plunge (Coney Island)

New Year's Plunge (Coney Island)

Go ahead, take the New Year’s plunge! Every year, since 1903, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club has taken a dip in the chilly Atlantic come New Year’s. All you need is a bathing suit (or wacky costume), plus a little suspension of disbelief that you are actually immersing yourself in ice-cold water in the dead of winter. 960 1280

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South Padre Island

South Padre Island

Coney Island’s waters too cold for you? Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico at South Padre Island. With average water temperatures in the 50s and 60s this time of year, you can brave the annual South Padre Island Polar Bear Dip and still feel all your toes and fingers afterward. January is also a great time to stroll the Laguna Madre Nature Trail or go on a dolphin cruise. 960 1280

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North American International Auto Show (Detroit)

North American International Auto Show (Detroit)

New Year, new car! See what the leading automakers have in store at the annual North American International Auto Show. As one of the largest auto shows in North America, the annual event reveals brand-new, shiny offerings like the 7th-generation Chevrolet Corvette, the C7, (pictured), at Detroit’s Cobo Center. 960 1280

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Off-Season Pick: Florence, Italy

Off-Season Pick: Florence, Italy

Looking for a great off-season destination? Skip the crowds, and head to Florence, Italy. Sure, it’s one of the Tuscan city’s coldest months, so just pack a scarf; with hardly any tourists, you’ll have ample room to explore Florence’s sites and attractions like the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery. 960 1280

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Mexico City in January

Mexico City in January

For an off-season pick closer to home, set your sights on Mexico City. January is one of the best months to visit, with thinner crowds and weather still warm enough for sightseeing. Explore any number of museums (the city is home to more than 170!), plus stroll the oldest park in North America and check out trendy neighborhoods like La Roma. 960 1280

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Year of the Snake (Chinatown, Boston)

Year of the Snake (Chinatown, Boston)

Ring in the Year of the Snake in Boston’s Chinatown. Right behind NYC and LA, Beantown’s Chinatown is the third-largest in the US, with roots stretching back to the 1880s. Pass through Boston Chinatown’s opening gate, flanked by 2 guardian lions on either side, and enjoy Cantonese cuisine served in small dishes at restaurants like Hei La Moon. 960 1280

Simon Law, flickr   

Learn-to-Ski-and-Snowboard Month

Learn-to-Ski-and-Snowboard Month

Did you know January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month? Hit the slopes in New York State, home to more than 50 ski resorts -- more than any other state in the country. Among the top draws is Whiteface Mountain; just a short drive from Lake Placid, the ski area offers diverse terrain for both beginner and expert skiers. 960 1280

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Grammys' Big Night in Los Angeles

Grammys' Big Night in Los Angeles

Didn’t get an invite to the Grammys this month? Don’t let that stop you from touring the City of Angels, especially anything to do with the Beatles this year. 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles taking America by storm; while the Grammys will hold its own commemoration, tour sites like the Hollywood Bowl, where the Beatles performed 2 outdoor concerts. 960 1280

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Yosemite’s Chefs’ Holidays: The Ahwahnee

Yosemite’s Chefs’ Holidays: The Ahwahnee

Take a tour of the Ahwahnee, the grand Yosemite National Park hotel that has hosted its share of famous guests through the years, from Walt Disney to Queen Elizabeth II. Visit this January for the annual Yosemite’s Chefs’ Holidays, and embark on a Northern California cooking adventure. 960 1280

Kenny Karst/DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.  

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival

This January marks the 31st anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival. The American film fest, held annually in Park City, UT, showcases dozens of films. There’s still time to book with the festival’s official carrier, Southwest Airlines; meanwhile, no registration is required for individual tickets to the festival in 2015. 960 1280

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National Cheese Lover’s Day (Vermont)

National Cheese Lover’s Day (Vermont)

Don’t let New Year’s be the one day you celebrate this month; pencil in time for National Cheese Lover’s Day, too. Jan. 20 marks a very special day for cheese gourmands everywhere. Celebrate with a trip to Vermont, home to cheesemakers since the 1800s, and let this Vermont cheese trail map be your guide. 960 1280

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MLK Day of Service

MLK Day of Service

Celebrate the life of the civil rights leader during the MLK Day of Service. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., hundreds of nonprofits and volunteer centers nationwide observe the federal holiday, named in King’s honor back in 1983, as a day of giving back to local communities and shelters. Grab a hammer and lend a hand. 960 1280

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Elvis Presley's Birthday

Elvis Presley's Birthday

Celebrate the life of another King: On Jan. 8, 1935, Elvis Presley was born in a 2-room house in Tupelo, MI. This month, Elvis’s Graceland estate hosts a 3-day-long birthday celebration. Rise bright and early for the Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony on Graceland’s North Lawn, and stay for the birthday-cake cutting. 960 1280

Ed Schipul, flickr   

Aspen's Winterskol Fest

Aspen's Winterskol Fest

Raise a toast to winter in Aspen’s annual Winterskol fest. The winter tradition is more than 60 years strong, and was started by a lodge owner who wanted to enliven the Aspen winter season following Christmas. Today, the 4-day winter fest includes a snow sculpture competition, a soup cook-off and a downhill race, with apple strudel at the finish line. 960 1280

Aspen Chamber Resort Association  

Backpack Through Brazil

Backpack Through Brazil

“Throw caution to the wind and live life with reckless abandon by backpacking through Brazil. Traverse the thick Amazon rain forest in Manaus, immerse yourself in the Afro-centric culture of Salvador, go nude sunbathing on Praia Mole in Florianopolis, witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Iguazu Falls, and stand at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro. Go -- you’ll be glad you did -- and prepare to get a lifetime of great memories.” -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer 960 1280

Rick Neves/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Camp in Canadian Backcountry

Camp in Canadian Backcountry

“What better way to kick off your first step into the real world than by getting away from the hustle and bustle that you have come to call normal? There may be no better place to do that than the Canadian wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Spread out over nearly 3,000 square miles of pristine backcountry, Algonquin boasts more than 1,900 campsites set along the shores of more than 2,400 lakes, with plenty of different ways to enjoy them. Grab a canoe, a backpack and a few friends, and paddle off into a sunset-drenched backdrop of the open water and woods to jump-start your trip. After a few days of traveling through the natural highway of portages and lakes, you’ll be relaxed, refreshed and ready to take that next step.” -- Matthew Dewhurst, Producer 960 1280

Henry Georgi/All Canada Photos/Getty Images  

Live Out Your Own Euro-Trip

Live Out Your Own Euro-Trip

“First time across the pond -- you don’t say! There’s not a better way to christen a newly minted passport than with a classic Europe trip. London is the perfect place to wet your whistle with a pint between checking off bucket-list attractions such as Big Ben and the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Then, ride the Eurail to your heart’s content. Hip hostels make traveling to stylish cities such as Paris, Barcelona or Prague possible even before you earn your first ‘big kid’ paycheck.” -- Sara Gilliam, Senior Producer 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images  

Party Vegas Style

Party Vegas Style

“As 4-plus years of studying comes to a close, celebrate with 1 last hurrah in Las Vegas! Be a high roller for the weekend and spend some graduation money on high-stakes gambling and bottle service. Enjoy the beginning of summer with crazy Vegas pool parties at the Venetian’s Tao Beach and Mandalay Bay’s Daylight.” -- Michelle Tran, Ad Sales Producer 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

Cuddle a Koala on Magnetic Island

Cuddle a Koala on Magnetic Island

“Australia is a place on most people’s bucket lists, and it’s a fantastic destination to let go and have some fun after years of studying and exams. Make your way to Magnetic Island in the lower part of the Great Barrier Reef. Go snorkeling to see the colorful fish and coral, and take a free hike along the Forts Walk to catch the sunset while perched atop the historic World War II fortifications. Be sure to keep your eyes on the eucalyptus trees to spot koalas. If you don’t see any, go cuddle one at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, which is also a backpackers’ hostel.” -- Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Townsville Enterprise Ltd/Tourism Australia  

Island-Hop in Greece

Island-Hop in Greece

“Enjoy beautiful beaches, island-hopping and a warm but cooler 77 degrees during the month of June -- the perfect time to go, just before the rush of summer tourists. Charter a catamaran through Blue Lagoon Cruises, whose boats come equipped with swimming platforms, bars, trampolines and much more! Enjoy hidden bays and hot springs on and around the islands of Santorini and Mykonos.” -- Rani Robinson, Digital Director 960 1280

Mbbirdy/E+/Getty Images   

Cruise the Caribbean

Cruise the Caribbean

“Grab a few friends and book a cruise to the Caribbean. Even just a 3- or 4-night sailing is the perfect way to kick back, party till the wee hours, and see a few new places — all in 1 vacation. Not to mention it’s budget-friendly, with most meals and entertainment included. Try a 4-night Western Caribbean itinerary on Carnival, leaving from Miami and sailing to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. Or, if you have the time and money, spring for a 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean, leaving from San Juan with stops in places such as Aruba, Barbados, St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Lucia.” -- Hannah Prince, Copy Editor 960 1280

Royal Caribbean International  

Chill Out in Newport Beach, CA

Chill Out in Newport Beach, CA

“If you’re searching for a great domestic post-graduation destination that blends both relaxation and excitement, then Newport Beach, CA, is the place for you. Post up on the expansive plots of sand with a good book or your headphones and relax in the sun, enjoying some of the country’s best weather. Looking for a thrill? Newport Beach also offers a wide variety of adventure and fun, from Jet Skiing and cruising the waves on a surf or boogie board to setting up your teammate for the perfect spike on one of the many public volleyball courts. And if you start to feel parched after a long day in the sun, stop by Sharkeez -- a Newport staple --for a cold cocktail.” -- Ben Breslerman, Producer 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Jessica Nugent  

Celebrate in the City That Never Sleeps

Celebrate in the City That Never Sleeps

“Not everyone can afford a trip around the world to celebrate graduating, but you can take a budget shortcut and visit NYC instead! While it's still not the cheapest city in America, in 1 weekend, you can take the N/R train down to Chinatown for tasty soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai, walk up to Little Italy for some authentic Chianti from Parm, and then hop the A/C to Koreatown for homemade Miss Korea kimchi and barbecue. Not to mention the dozens of first-class museums, such as the Met and the Frick, that are also just a subway ride away. You'll leave having experienced the best of more than a dozen cultures without ever needing your passport!” -- Liz Fraser, Photo Editor 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/TriggerPhoto  

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Ice cream is an iconic American summer treat! Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a visit to one of America's coolest ice cream shops
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Moment / Getty Images  

Canada Day

Canada Day

Ottawa — the capital of Canada — is the place to be for the annual Canada Day celebration on July 1. Canada Day events to commemorate  the anniversary of the country's birthday take place at Parliament Hill and Major's Hill Park and include ceremonies, family-fun activities, concerts, fireworks and more.
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A Capitol Fourth (Washington, DC)

A Capitol Fourth (Washington, DC)

Feeling patriotic? There's no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in the nation's capital! At the beginning of the day, experience the annual National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue, complete with bands, US military units and celebrities. After the parade, head to the National Mall for A Capitol Fourth concert and fireworks — one of the best fireworks displays in the US.
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Tour de France

Tour de France

Experience one of France's largest annual sporting events, the Tour de France. This prestigious competition is a multi-stage bicycle race that begins in Utrecht, Holland, and cyclists will travel more than 2,200 miles through the European countryside to their final destination in Paris.
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REUTERS / Yuya Shino  

San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)

San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)

Join thousands of locals and tourists in Pamplona, Spain, for the annual San Fermin Festival and Running of the Bulls. At 8 each morning, participants dressed in red and white will run for their lives as 6 wild bulls are let loose in the streets. The half-mile-long run begins at Town Hall and ends at the Plaza de Toros de Pamplona, where afternoon bullfights take place to celebrate the completion of the bull run each day.
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Getty Images News  

Berlin Fashion Week (Berlin)

Berlin Fashion Week (Berlin)

Since July 2007, fashion icons, enthusiasts and designers have traveled to Berlin for the city's annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. There will be a variety of exhibits, ceremonies and shows, including eco-shows that highlight "green" fashion trends in Berlin.
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REUTERS / Tobias Schwarz  

Cool down at the Water Park (Blizzard Beach, Orlando)

Cool down at the Water Park (Blizzard Beach, Orlando)

Looking for a place to cool down from the summer heat? Pack your bags for a fun, wet and wild visit to one of the best water parks of 2015. Located in Orlando, Disney's Blizzard Beach water park has something for everyone, including a 1-acre wave pool and a 120-foot waterslide. 
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Disney  

The Open Championship

The Open Championship

The oldest of the 4 major championships in professional golf, the Open Championship — also known simply as "the Open" — will take place at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. Well-known players including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson will tee off for their chance to win the coveted Claret Jug, prize money and the championship title. 
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Getty Images Sport  

Bastille Day

Bastille Day

Bastille Day, or French Independence Day, takes place each year on July 14 to commemorate the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution. Although Bastille Day is celebrated around the world, celebrations in Paris include a military parade along the Champs-Elysees and public dances, followed by fireworks over the Place de la Bastille. 960 1280

The Image Bank / Getty Images  

MLB All-Star Game

MLB All-Star Game

Stock up on Cracker Jacks, hot dogs and peanuts for when the American League and National League go head-to-head in the annual MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH. Weeklong events leading up to the game include the All-Star FanFest, the MLB 5K Color Run, the All-Star Legends & Celebrities Softball Game, and the Home Run Derby.
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Major League Baseball / Getty Images  

Redentore Festival (Venice, Italy)

Redentore Festival (Venice, Italy)

Famous for its fireworks show over St. Mark's Basin in Venice, Italy, the 2-day Redentore Festival celebrates the end of the plague that killed more than 50,000 people in 1576.
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Getty Images News  

Nyon Paléo Festival (Switzerland)

Nyon Paléo Festival (Switzerland)

More than 230,000 people will travel to Nyon, Switzerland, this month for the annual Nyon Paléo Festival. One of Europe's most popular music festivals, Paléo features more than 250 concerts by artists from a variety of genres, including Elton John, the Black Keys and M.I.A.
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AFP / Getty Images  

San Diego Comic-Con International

San Diego Comic-Con International

Superheroes, villains and aliens — you'll see that and more at the San Diego International Comic-Con Convention, the largest comics and pop-culture convention in the US. Comic fans and A-list celebrities will descend on the San Diego Convention Center for the 4-day event, which includes exhibits, vendors, celebrity meet-and-greets, a film festival and a masquerade ball.
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REUTERS / Mike Blake  

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