Photography by Jeff Folger

Don’t Settle for Less Than Our Best

If you want to find the best, you have to ask the best. That’s why Travel Channel rounds up expert advisors every month to choose their favorite beaches, cruises, holiday attractions, road trips, honeymoons, amusement parks, resorts, foods and more. Meet each panel and find out what made the list.

Get Inspired

Artifact Uprising Coffee-Table Book, starting at $17.99
Artifact Uprising Coffee-Table Book, starting at $17.99

Artifact Uprising Coffee-Table Book, starting at $17.99

"The ultimate coffee-table tome, however? Showing off your own adventure,” says Senior Producer Sara Gilliam. Artifact Uprising makes it easy to turn personal photos from your latest trip, or series of trips, into a one-of-a-kind hardcover keepsake for a loved one. 960 1280

Artifact Uprising LLC  

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, $299.95

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, $299.95

"If you haven’t bought a pair of Bose's noise-canceling headphones because they take up too much space, look into its QuietComfort 20i (or QC20) acoustic headphones," recommends travel expert Johnny Jet. 960 1280

Bose Corporation  

Brooklyn Candle Studio Travel Tins, starting at $14

Brooklyn Candle Studio Travel Tins, starting at $14

"Brooklyn Candle Studio's stylish, brushed-gold tins instantly cozy up any old hotel room and come in a variety of fruity, floral and woodsy scents, such as green tea lemongrass and sandalwood," says Sara Gilliam. 960 1280

Brooklyn Candle Studio  

Second Edition Red Playing Cards, $15

Second Edition Red Playing Cards, $15

Fathom co-founder Jeralyn Gerba says this stylish red set of cards is a conversation starter with new friends, a diversion during travel hiccups and, mixed with the right cocktail, pretty much all you need to have a party. 960 1280

Misc. Goods Co.  

Napa Valley Wine Train, starting at $109 per person

Napa Valley Wine Train, starting at $109 per person

"The Napa Valley Wine Train is not only a practical way to see California’s beautiful wine country (no designated driver required), but it’s also an experience in itself — the ride offers fine dining and panoramic views in the 2-story 1952 Pullman domed railcar," says Sara Gilliam. 960 1280

John Elk lll/ Lonely Planet Images/ Getty Images  

The Satechi Travel Adapter, $21.99

The Satechi Travel Adapter, $21.99

"This device is the only travel converter you need to bring around the world — it juices gadgets in more than 150 countries with the 4 most common plug configurations," says Johnny Jet. 960 1280

Satechi  

Scottevest, starting at $70

Scottevest, starting at $70

“Any jacket or other article of clothing that has multiple hidden pockets and can act as a third carry-on, protect your valuables and still be stylish like Scottevest will always be on the top of my list,” says Johnny Jet. 960 1280

SCOTTeVEST, Inc.  

Selk Bag Patagon, $199

Selk Bag Patagon, $199

"I'm a big fan of comfortable and cozy, and this sleeping bag/onesie was both in spades," says Travel Channel Gear Guide host Rob Pralgo. "If I had a Selk Bag, I'd wear it 24/7." 960 1280

Selk’Bag  

Neoprene Zip Pouch, $75

Neoprene Zip Pouch, $75

"The neoprene fabric, big zipper and squishy shape mean the Summer Bummer toiletry bag is light and durable and water-resistant and can be tossed around — from boat to beach to ski slope and back into your carryall," says Jeralyn Gerba. 960 1280

Summer Bummer  

Rimowa Luggage, Starting at $525

Rimowa Luggage, Starting at $525

"Ask me for a suitcase that combines robust German engineering with space-age materials that basically rolls itself, and I will show you the best lightweight luggage money can buy," says Jeralyn Gerba of Rimowa luggage. 960 1280

Rimowa  

boats, capitol, Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

With its historic homes, wooden sailboats and midshipmen strolling the streets in their whites, Annapolis is the epitome of classic Americana. It’s the perfect place to explore military history and get a peek at its future at the United States Naval Academy Museum. Stay for the food: No trip to Annapolis is complete without enjoying some Maryland crab with Old Bay, of course. 960 1280

K. Thom  

Peak to Peak Highway, Estes Park, Colorado

Peak to Peak Highway, Estes Park, Colorado

As one of the rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park described it, “You can take many photos, but you can never completely capture the beauty of this place.” True story. A three-hour stretch of green pine trees, snowcapped mountains and log cabins makes this scenic byway (Colorado's oldest) the perfect setting for a short-but-sweet road trip.  960 1280

Visit Estes Park  

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington/Oregon

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington/Oregon

Located on the state line between Washington and Oregon, this locale is an excellent nature-filled family retreat, with waterfalls, wildflowers and sweeping views of the Columbia River. If you're willing to get wet, take a short hike through the majestic Oneonta Gorge, a lush chasm leading to a hidden waterfall. 960 1280

iStockphoto.com/Ericfoltz  

Redwood National and State Parks, California

Redwood National and State Parks, California

This enchanted forest of giant trees is located next to miles of empty beach, combining history, culture, wonder and nature in one beautiful location. As sunbeams break through the towering canopy, you'll feel as though you've been transported into a real-life fairy tale. Redwood National Park is truly an awe-inspiring escape for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. 960 1280

Visit California/Carol Highsmith  

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

A mix of historical and cultural influences has created the unique Cajun/French Creole food, music and language found only in this small part of the country. Enjoy a delicious (and messy) crawfish boil, dance to zydeco music and take a thrilling airboat ride! Plus, in Lafayette, you'll get all the Mardi Gras celebration without the New Orleans tourism. 960 1280

Louisiana Travel  

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Craving Zen and beauty? White Sands offers perhaps the most serene experience in the country. Walking the dunes is like wading through an ocean of diamonds surrounded by purple mountains. Make sure to arrive when the gates open to witness the morning light dancing across the desert. 960 1280

Guillaume Dutilh  

Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona

In the town of Williams, Ariz., expect an eclectic mix of the rich history of Route 66 and the Wild West. Williams is the perfect place for a pit stop to find a kitschy souvenir and let the kids get up close and personal with wildlife at the Bearizona drive-through wildlife park. Then, hop aboard the 100-year-old Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic, 65-mile ride to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 960 1280

Chris Hepburn/Photolibrary/Getty Images  

St. Louis

St. Louis

St. Louis is the “Gateway to the West” for more reasons than one. Yes, its iconic Gateway Arch is a sight to behold, but the city’s friendly Midwest sensibility, steamboats, vibrant riverfront along the Mississippi, and free attractions such as the St. Louis Zoo make it truly appealing for a family getaway. Plus, it’s a (Cardinals) baseball and beer town — could you get more American than that? 960 1280

Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images  

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the park created to honor the ship’s stellar service during World War II. Tour the battleship, the aircraft collection and the USS Drum submarine, or even book an overnight adventure to get a taste of how the sailors lived. Beyond beautiful Mobile Bay, streets lined with historic homes and giant oaks give way to a vibrant downtown once dubbed “the Paris of the South.” 960 1280

Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Florida Keys Overseas Highway

Florida Keys Overseas Highway

Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett — two American icons, with their own devoted fan bases, who’ve called Key West home. Discover why they fell in love with the Keys by driving the 127-mile Florida Keys Overseas Highway, which includes a network of bridges that stretch from mainland Florida all the way to the southernmost point in the U.S. Make sure to pull over for the occasional conch fritter and snorkeling break, of course. 960 1280

The Monroe Tourist Development Council  

The Lasso, SD, to Devil’s Tower, WY
Out-of-This-World Views: The Lasso, SD, to Devil’s Tower, WY

Out-of-This-World Views: The Lasso, SD, to Devil’s Tower, WY

TV host Don Wildman chose the 110-mile loop from Rapid City, SD, to Devil’s Tower, WY, as one of the country's best road trips. While Wildman was brave enough to cover the Badlands during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, he says it’s just as memorable to travel by car, since either way you’ll drive through deep forests and thrilling mountain vistas. If you’re not brave enough to ride a Harley like Wildman, you can at least follow in his footsteps and stop at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum in South Dakota.

"Maybe you’ll even have a close encounter to write home about,” adds Wildman; Devil’s Tower is the site where the iconic alien landing scene was filmed in the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
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South Dakota Department of Tourism  

Off-Road Adventure: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Off-Road Adventure: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

For the intrepid road tripper, Bolivia offers off-road adventures across otherworldly landscapes. “The world’s largest salt flat, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is a surefire, natural amazement,” says Don Wildman, host of Mysteries at the Museum. After a short flight south from La Paz, Bolivia, a number of skilled tour companies will house you in a hotel constructed entirely of salt and then drive you out to experience extraordinary visuals not to be missed in this life, adds Wildman.

While the salt flats are the smoothest “road” you’re likely to drive on, keep in mind you’re at an altitude of 12,500 feet, so take measures to prevent altitude sickness.
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AFP / Getty Images  

Unexpected Fall Foliage: Glacier National Park, Montana

Unexpected Fall Foliage: Glacier National Park, Montana

One of the most iconic drives in the country, Montana's “Going to the Sun Road,” is a true bucket list drive not to be missed, says RoadTrippers.com CEO and founder James Fisher. The road spans a breathtaking 50 miles of Glacier National Park's most beautiful twists and turns. Considered an engineering marvel, the road was completed in the fall of 1932, after workers blew through half a million pounds of explosives for its construction.

Jackson Glacier Overlook, between Logan Pass and St. Mary offers the park's best views of a glacier from the road. And while Montana might not be the first place that comes to mind for viewing fall foliage, we suggest taking a drive here in autumn to witness the dazzling color show.
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David Restivo / NPS  

Castles, Caves and Cheese: Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England

Castles, Caves and Cheese: Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England

It’s no surprise that Fisher, born and raised in the English countryside, also picks a road trip in the United Kingdom. It all starts at a castle, says Fisher: Tintagel Castle, located high atop the rugged coast of Cornwall. Fisher advises then taking the scenic route to Bath, past the fishing village of Boscastle, which dates back to the 1500s. The gorge itself is one of England's most interesting areas, a land of witches, caves and waterfalls.

Fisher adds, “But most importantly it is home to the original, cave-matured, cheddar cheese.” See the cheese being made by the town’s only remaining cheesemakers at Cheddar Gorge Cheese Factory, followed by free tastings of the town’s namesake.
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Britain On View / Getty Images  

Mountains and Mining Towns: The San Juan Skyway, Colorado

Mountains and Mining Towns: The San Juan Skyway, Colorado

Nicknamed the "Road to the Sky," the San Juan Skyway loops through the heart of southern Colorado's towering San Juan Mountains and is a "must-do" for road tripping fans, says filmmaker, photographer and road tripper, Allison Otto. The Skyway passes through old Colorado mining towns like Ouray, Telluride, and Silverton, climbs to an elevation of more than 14,000 feet and circles down to the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park.

“The views are dazzling, especially in the late summer/early fall, but be careful along the cliffside-clinging stretch known as the ‘The Million Dollar Highway,’ where there are parts of the road that lack guardrails," adds Otto.
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Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images  

Adventure South of the Border: Creel to Batopilas, Mexico

Adventure South of the Border: Creel to Batopilas, Mexico

Skip the touristy beaches of Mexico and take an adventurous road trip instead. Otto suggests driving from the Mexican town of Creel to Batopilas: “This is an amazing white-knuckle, eye-popping drive to the base of Mexico's Copper Canyon, which is actually a series of 20 canyons formed over the years by 6 rivers,” says Otto. The narrow, mostly dirt road begins in Creel, which has a frontier feel, and ends in Batopilas, a sleepy old silver mining town at the base of the canyon.

There are no guardrails on this route and drivers can expect to weave through a few cattle, donkeys and goats along the way. “The views are truly breathtaking, though, and Batopilas, which was founded around 1632, is definitely worth a visit and a perfect base for day hikes in the canyon,” adds Otto.
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Altrendo / Getty Images  

Beaches and Leaf Peeping: Michigan's Gold Coast

Beaches and Leaf Peeping: Michigan's Gold Coast

“Leaves, lighthouses, and sugary beaches! New England? Nope: Michigan!” reveals Robert Firpo-Cappiello, executive editor of BudgetTravel.com. Treat yourself to a 3-day autumn road trip starting in Grand Rapids, MI, where you can soak up serious art, public gardens and craft beer, suggests Firpo-Cappiello. Drive along the “Gold Coast” highway west to the jaw-dropping shoreline of Lake Michigan. “From Grand Haven down to Saugatuck and on to South Haven, you'll have a great weekend and bring home bragging rights for having 'discovered' some of the finest beaches, highest dunes and freshest seafood in America,” says Firpo-Cappiello.

Take a break from driving and ride on Saugatuck’s ferry to Oval Beach, the only remaining chain-driven ferry in the United States.
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Thinkstock  

The European Tour: France to Italy to Switzerland

The European Tour: France to Italy to Switzerland

Skip the train, and travel at your own speed on a road trip through Europe’s charming lakeside towns. Start your journey along the banks of Lake Annecy that sits under the French Alps’ Mount Blanc, advises travel writer and TV personality, Kim Mance. “You’ll cross many picturesque canal bridges as you drive toward Italy, with countless castles on hilltops,” says Mance.

After you stop for an Italian fondue lunch (yes, that exists!), Mance suggests you head back north toward Switzerland’s tiny villages, which dot the mountainside. From here, make your way to the stunningly beautiful Belle Époque city of Montreux, Switzerland on the shore of Lake Geneva. The entire drive from Annecy to Montreux can be done in about 4 hours, but Mance suggests taking a week.
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Switzerland Tourism  

Tour of the Island: Oahu, Hawaii

Tour of the Island: Oahu, Hawaii

The best way to explore the island of Oahu? By car, preferably a Mustang convertible to be exact, says Kathleen Rellihan, interactive producer for TravelChannel.com. Escape Honolulu’s crowds and explore the hidden gems on Oahu, from the Halona Blowhole to Lanikai Beach (often ranked as one of the world’s best beaches) and Tropical Farms’ Macadamia Nut Farm.

Plan to stay at least a night on Oahu’s famed North Shore , a relaxed surf mecca that’s home to Pipeline, a world famous surf break, and beach-basking sea turtles. “Don’t miss the garlic shrimp trucks along Kamehameha Highway and stop at Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach to watch big wave surfers and incredible sunsets,” adds Rellihan.
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Hawaii Tourism Authority / Tor Johnson  

Seaside Foodventure: Puglia, Italy

Seaside Foodventure: Puglia, Italy

If you’re looking for a road trip off the beaten track with plenty of unforgettable food stops, look no further than Italy’s Puglia region. With over 250 miles of ancient olive groves, charming fishing villages and glistening Adriatic coastline, Puglia “the heel on Italy’s boot,” is less tourist trodden than other regions in Italy and best explored on a slow-paced road trip, says Rellihan.

As you drive along the coast of Puglia, steering clear of cattle and steep rocky drops, stop at cliffside wonders like Vieste’s fortified whitewashed castle and Bari’s Grotta Palazzese, one of the many restaurants nestled inside ancient caves perched over the blue-green Adriatic Sea.
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E+ / Getty Images  

Best Country to Keep Watch On: Cuba

Best Country to Keep Watch On: Cuba

Airlines, hotel chains, cruise companies and US travelers alike are all hopeful for an official removal of the travel ban on Cuba after President Obama’s announcement of plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with the Caribbean country. With the possibility of this once-difficult-to-visit destination’s rigid travel restrictions easing up, our dreams of mojito-fueled nights of salsa dancing in colorful, classic-car-lined streets will be that much easier to attain.  960 1280

Walter Bibikow  

Best Meal-to-Go: Beefsteak

Best Meal-to-Go: Beefsteak

Move over, bacon: Veggies are getting the celeb-chef treatment this year. Chef José Andrés is taking on the trend of fast-casual restaurants and opening a vegetable-focused chain in early 2015. It’s called Beefsteak (named after a type of tomato, for those who don’t know) and will serve up healthy food, fast. While steering away from calling it a vegetarian restaurant, Andrés wants merely to make meat the side dish for once and celebrate the unsung power of vegetables while bringing wholesome food to the masses.   960 1280

The Washington Post  

Best Under-the-Radar Destination: Guatemala

Best Under-the-Radar Destination: Guatemala

While other Latin America countries have been more on the radar for travelers — especially Mexico and Costa Rica — Guatemala hasn’t received the tourism spotlight it deserves. With 33 volcanoes, a World Heritage Site in the city of Antigua, Mayan ruins, and the mystical volcano-ringed Lake Atitlán​, Guatemala is brimming with intriguing history, colonial grandeur and outdoor adventures that will keep every type of traveler intrigued. Take in the breath-taking beauty of Guatemala at Casa Palopo, a boutique hotel with panoramic views of Lake Atitlán and 3 majestic volcanoes across the shore. ​ 960 1280

Image Source  

Best Reason to Take a Cruise: Total Solar Eclipse

Best Reason to Take a Cruise: Total Solar Eclipse

Think all cruises are the same? How about a cruise to see a rare eclipse? A total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015, will be visible from the remote Faroe Islands, between Norway and Iceland.  Several companies are offering cruises to witness this rare event, which will not happen again until 2026 and, if you’re lucky, could include another awe-inspiring show from Mother Nature — the northern lights. With pricey tickets selling out for a phenomenon that lasts no more than 2 minutes, 47 seconds, we imagine there will be many prayers made for a clear day. 960 1280

Karl Lehmann  

Best Extreme Sport: Volcano Boarding

Best Extreme Sport: Volcano Boarding

With new luxury eco-resorts cropping up, Nicaragua seems to be on every travel list for 2015. There’s 1 extreme sport in particular here that’s catching our attention: volcano boarding. Racing down an active volcano at speeds of up to 30 mph on a wooden sled — sounds like a life highlight, right? That is, if you don’t fall.  Adventure junkies should proceed with caution and wear protective gear, because you don’t want to get cut by volcanic ash on a tumble.  960 1280

Matthew Micah Wright  

Best Outdoor Adventure: Hike the Pacific Crest Trail

Best Outdoor Adventure: Hike the Pacific Crest Trail

Hollywood isn’t the only one trying to re-create Cheryl Strayed’s Wild journey; throngs of fans inspired by the best-selling author’s 1,100-mile solo trek are hitting the Pacific Crest Trail, one of the country’s longest and wildest thru-hikes, in record numbers. With the film adaption of <i>Wild</i>, we expect 2015 to usher in even more rookie hikers on the PCT. Embracing the growing interest, the Pacific Crest Trail is sharing fans’ stories and even Strayed’s exact route, so you can follow in the author’s footsteps. We suggest wearing better-fitting boots, though. 960 1280

Anne Marie Fox  

Best Reimagined Destination: Haiti

Best Reimagined Destination: Haiti

A Caribbean island nation with a vibrant Creole culture and stunning beaches, Haiti was a hot travel destination back in the 1970s, when the Clintons even honeymooned there. Now, 5 years after the devastating earthquake that shook the country, curious travelers and sustainable travel companies are trying to put this often-overlooked and feared destination back on the tourism map. Using local suppliers in an effort to keep money in the country, G Adventures is one of the pioneering companies that firmly believes tourism can be a force for good in Haiti — and it’s launching 5 Haiti trips in 2015 to prove it. 960 1280

  

Best US Comeback City: New Orleans

Best US Comeback City: New Orleans

Marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015, New Orleans is celebrating its resiliant nature and welcoming travelers more than ever as it looks forward to its tricentennial in 2018.  So if you haven’t been to Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest or eaten your way through the city, overindulging in beignets and shrimp po’boys, don’t go another year without visiting America’s comeback city.   960 1280

Franz Marc Frei  

Best Travel Gadget: Apple Watch

Best Travel Gadget: Apple Watch

With the highly anticipated Apple Watch going on sale in 2015, the travel world is gearing up to support wearable technology. A watch that doubles as a smartphone is the latest advance that will make it easier to plan and manage travel. Hotels, airlines and travel companies are now offering smartwatch apps that let you check in, book flights and download boarding passes … all from your wristwatch. With a hands-free device, it’s that much easier to score fleeting travel deals on the go, too.  960 1280

  

Best Travel App/Website: EatWith.com

Best Travel App/Website: EatWith.com

With the rising success of peer-to-peer websites such as Airbnb, start-ups are popping up using similar concepts but connecting travelers to foodies around the world. One of our favorites, EatWith.com, connects hosts who love to cook with travelers who want a taste of local cuisine. From a 9-course meal on a family farm in Florence, Italy, to sampling typical Peruvian dishes in the Andes Mountains, what could be a better way to experience a destination than to connect with locals over a homemade meal? 960 1280

  

Best Destination Wedding Spot: Florence, Italy

Best Destination Wedding Spot: Florence, Italy

With some of the world’s biggest celebrities — including most eligible bachelor George Clooney and internet-breaking Kim Kardashian — tying the knot in Italy in 2014, brides-to-be are imagining their own Italian fairy-tale weddings. Feel like a superstar yourself by saying your “I do’s” at the luxury hotel Il Salviatino, an exquisitely restored, 15th-century villa perched on the hillside of Fiesole with sweeping views of Florence and the rolling Tuscan countryside. Even if your groom isn’t George Clooney, you couldn’t have dreamed of a more romantic wedding destination.  960 1280

Antonio Pistillo  

Nepal
Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal (Hiking Adventure)

Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal (Hiking Adventure)

Trekking in the shadow of the ice-clad Himalayan summits -- for avid hikers, scaling these peaks of legends is a dream come true. “The sights, sounds and culture of Nepal surround you like no place on the planet,” says Justin Wood, travel exec with REI Adventures, “your psyche will be forever changed.” On the trail, you pass black-and-white yaks with ornate woven harnesses and clanging bells, as well as singing children and locals carrying unimaginable loads of supplies bound for their remote villages. The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp is October through November for clear dry weather, but the trail will be full of trekkers. If you’re looking for more solitude, consider March through April, when you’ll find cloudy skies but fewer hikers. 960 1280

REI Adventures  

US Route 50, Nevada (Road Trip Adventure)

US Route 50, Nevada (Road Trip Adventure)

Nicknamed “The Loneliest Road in America,” US Route 50 begins just past Lake Tahoe, CA, and ends at the Utah state line. In the 409-mile stretch between Fallon, NV, and Delta, UT, alone, there are only 3 towns. Road tripper and documentary filmmaker Allison Otto, says, “This route is beautiful in its austerity, offers numerous photo ops, traverses several large desert valleys and 17 mountain passes -- in some cases reaching altitudes of more than 7,000 feet.” This route was constructed over a historic corridor first used by the Pony Express; today, enjoy several must-see sites along the way, including the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and the singing sand of Sand Mountain, as well as the old mining town of Ely. Take a detour south along Route 6 to NV-375, aka the Extraterrestrial Highway that passes the alleged location of mysterious Area 51. 960 1280

Ken Lund, flickr  

Djibouti (Water Sport Adventure)

Djibouti (Water Sport Adventure)

You may have never heard of Djibouti, but if you’re looking for an amazing water adventure this tiny country -- located on the Horn of Africa -- is about as epic as it gets. “Djibouti sits on the Gulf of Aden, which is home to warm, clear waters that are full of pristine reefs and shipwrecks that have yet to be overrun by the diving masses,” says Shane Reynolds, founder of Color Earth. “Marine life is plentiful and the biggest attraction, literally, are whale sharks.” Seasonally these gentle giants settle in to feed here, providing divers the opportunity to share their space, all without the crowds like in other destinations such as Cancun. Djibouti is the ultimate water adventure experience. There’s no other destination in the world that provides scuba diving inside the rift that separates Asia and Africa. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Andalusia, Spain (Camping Adventure)

Andalusia, Spain (Camping Adventure)

Spend a night underneath the stars in Andalusia, Spain. Most people wouldn’t know it, but this area is a hot glamping spot. Sleep in a tricked-out tipi at Altiplano Tipis or in a hand-crafted luxury yurt at Hooting Owl Yurt Holidays. The more adventurous campers who like to rough it should head to Desfiladero de los Gaitanes National Park. “The rock climbing and hiking here is great,” says Matthew Karsten, adventure travel expert and blogger for ExpertVagaBond.com. “Plus the famous, but steep Caminito del Rey trail is located right outside the Park,” he says. Only in the south of Spain is it possible to go camping on the majestic snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains, then travel an hour to the Mediterranean coast and pitch your tent on a beautiful, sunny beach in Malaga. 960 1280

ruudb0y, flickr  

Pacific Coast Highway 1 (Cycling Adventure)

Pacific Coast Highway 1 (Cycling Adventure)

See the beauty of the Pacific Coast from the seat of your bicycle. "Pedaling down California's famous Highway 1, surrounded by towering forests and endless coastline is a cyclist’s dream," says avid cyclist and travel journalist Ryan Van Duzer. The epic journey starts along the breathtaking Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and goes all the way down to the sunny beaches of Southern California in San Diego. "My favorite sections are the redwood forests in Northern California, including the mind-blowing beautiful coastline in Big Sur, and being able to dig your feet into the sand along the beaches in LA,” he adds. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Hearst Castle are other must-see sites that cyclists will find along this amazing pilgrimage that showcases The Golden State’s history and diverse landscapes. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Yosemite National Park- California (Family Adventure)

Yosemite National Park- California (Family Adventure)

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, which paved the way for the famed national park to come. Home to wildlife, glaciers, waterfalls, valleys, granite domes, cliffs, lakes and wilderness, Yosemite is an ecological wonderland. “Families have a buffet of activities at their disposal, including biking, backpacking, camping, fishing, bird watching, rock climbing and horseback riding,” says Tawanna Browne Smith, travel expert and founder of Mom’s Guide to Travel. “Stay overnight and camp out in a tent, relax in a cabin at Curry Village or enjoy a luxury stay at the AAA Four-Diamond Ahwahnee hotel.” More than 150 activities are planned throughout the year to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Yosemite Grant Act to protect the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia (Eco-Friendly Adventure)

Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia (Eco-Friendly Adventure)

Just off the coast of Queensland, <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/beaches/articles/fraser-island-australia">Fraser Island</a> is ideal for an all-encompassing eco-friendly adventure. It is the biggest sand island in the world, and home to a wide range of animal and plant life. Visitors can take in the sights of this phenomenal giant sand system on a 4-wheel drive adventure; hire an Aboriginal tour guide to discover their connection to the island; or escape the heat by swimming in one of the many lakes around the island. “Swamp wallabies, echidnas, possums and sugar gliders hide within the bush and a native dingo population -- said to be the purest breed alive today -- roam freely,” says Linda McCormick, travel writer and editor. Staying on Fraser Island can be as exciting -- or as luxurious -- as you wish. “No matter where you stay or what you do,” says McCormick, “it’s certain you’ll be wowed by this impressive natural habitat.” 960 1280

Matthew Bowden / iStock / Thinkstock  

Ubatuba, Brazil (Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure)

Ubatuba, Brazil (Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure)

As host country of the <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/brazil/photos/brazil-2014-world-cup-cities-tour">2014 World Cup</a>, Brazil has been top of mind for travelers and sports lovers alike in recent months. Escape the throngs of soccer fans, and embark on an underwater adventure around the coastal town of Ubatuba, in Sao Paulo state. “Isolated beaches line the coast, and beds of coral and islands dot the surrounding waters, making the region heaven for scuba divers and snorkelers,” says Valerie Conners, travel writer and expert. “Find a tour operator to take you into the pristine waters of Ilha Anchieta, Ilha Vitória and Ilha do Prumirim,” she adds. In addition to underwater rock formations, divers will see caverns, colorful corals, plenty of dolphins and even an underwater statue of researcher Jacques Cousteau. 960 1280

Gabriel Pevide / iStock / Thinkstock   

Skydiving in Orange, Virginia (Extreme Adventure)

Skydiving in Orange, Virginia (Extreme Adventure)

Go local to experience extreme adventure in your own backyard. “I’ve gone paragliding off Pedra Bonita in Rio, but sometimes you don’t have to travel thousands of miles away to experience extreme adventure,” says Kwin Mosby, managing producer for TravelChannel.com. His suggestion? Experience the adrenaline rush of skydiving with local companies like Skydive Orange, the largest tandem skydiving center in the Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland area.” Skydive from 13,500 feet in the air with experienced instructors. And while you’re in freefall, make sure you take in the unpolluted, country-fresh air and the awe-inspiring Blue Ridge Mountains off in the distance. 960 1280

Getty Images  

The Pantanal, Brazil (Wildlife Adventure)

The Pantanal, Brazil (Wildlife Adventure)

The Pantanal is hands down the hottest and best wildlife safari destination outside of Africa Africa, and with the latest photos of jaguars taking down caimans on riverbanks dominating the internet, it's not hard to see why. The wildlife sightings get better and better each year. “On any trip, you can expect to see several rare and endangered wildlife species, such as giant river otters, neotropical river otters, giant anteaters, tamanduas, crab-eating Fox and Tyra -- a type of honey badger,” says Jessica Pociask, owner of WANT Expeditions. “You can easily expect to see up to 50 species of birds in one day.” See beautiful birds like hyacinth macaws, toucans and herons. This is a not-to-be missed destination if you’re a wildlife photographer. 960 1280

Jessica Pociask/WANT Expeditions  

Dyker Heights Lights, Brooklyn, NY
Dyker Heights Lights, Brooklyn, NY

Dyker Heights Lights, Brooklyn, NY

What’s Travel Channel host Samantha Brown’s favorite hometown holiday tradition? Taking in "the most delightful, delirious and over-the-top Christmas decorations" with her family in the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. 960 1280

Michael Heiman/Getty Images  

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

Samantha Brown has always wanted to visit this world-famous Christmas market filled with decorations and treats galore, including Nuremberg bratwurst, gingerbread and mulled wine. Yum. 960 1280

Sean Nel/Getty Images/Hemera  

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland

Want to visit Santa Claus on his own turf? Meet Santa in his office in the Arctic Circle. Families can send letters with the assistance of Santa's official postal elves.  960 1280

shashinkoubou/Getty Images  

Skating by the Sea, San Diego

Skating by the Sea, San Diego

San Diego’s landmark Hotel del Coronado offers an ice rink on the lawn with breathtaking ocean views. Travel blogger Amie O’Shaughnessy, founder of Ciao Bambino!, thinks skating by the Pacific Ocean makes for the best family holiday card photo.   960 1280

Sam Antonio/Getty Images/Flickr Vision  

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, New York

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, New York

One of the most treasured holiday traditions in New York City  is seeing the spectacular dancers of the New York City Ballet perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Mickela Mallozzi, host of the travel dance series Bare Feet, says it's a must-see for any dance lover. 960 1280

Paul Kolnik  

12 Pubs of Christmas, Dublin

12 Pubs of Christmas, Dublin

A recent tradition in Dublin includes the 12 Pubs of Christmas, where revelers will don tacky sweaters and then make their rounds to 12 different pubs, swigging a pint at each one.  960 1280

Getty Images  

Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Mickela Mallozzi, host of the travel dance series Bare Feet, suggests visiting the Christmas fair in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. This 1-000-year-old city turns into a Christmas mecca right out of a storybook, hosting local artisans and musical performances. 960 1280

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images  

Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana

One of the festive towns featured on ChristmastownUSA, Santa Claus, IN, celebrates Christmas 365 days of the year. Family-owned since 1946, the town’s popular amusement park, Holiday World, boasts 3 of the world’s top 10 wooden roller coasters. 960 1280

Spencer County Visitors Bureau   

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

You couldn't dream up a more magical place to spend the holidays than Reykjavik, with its vivid winter wonderland landscape and unique traditions. Visit the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjordur or Reykjavik's main Christmas market in Ingólfstorg Square for traditional Nordic holiday gifts, mulled wine and Yuletide music.  960 1280

Getty Images/Arctic-Images  

North Pole, Alaska

North Pole, Alaska

Yes, there really is a North Pole, and believe it or not, 3 men named Santa Claus live there.  Opened in 1952, Santa Claus House, the town’s biggest attraction, is a Christmas-themed gift shop with oodles of ornaments, a 42-foot Santa statue and real reindeer you can visit. 960 1280

Davidd/flickr  

Epcot at Walt Disney World, Orlando
Epcot at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Epcot at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Theme parks aren’t just for kids, especially ones like Epcot at Walt Disney World. "While it has fun and thrilling attractions for the whole family, including Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Soarin', Spaceship Earth, etc., the real attractions at Epcot are the World Showcase's 11 countries, where you can sample food and drinks from Germany, Mexico, Norway, Canada, Japan, Italy, France...," says Alvey. In the fall, Epcot's World Showcase transforms into the International Food & Wine Festival, an event featuring food and drink samples from nearly 30 different countries. 960 1280

Gene Duncan, Disney  

Aquaventure, Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas

Aquaventure, Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas

While the region's beautiful beaches might beckon you to the Bahamas, your kids will be in paradise at the largest water park in the Caribbean, Aquaventure at Atlantis. A free perk for overnight guests of the Atlantis resort, the water park has it all: a gentle lazy river, exciting rapid rides and multiple water slides that take guests on huge vertical drops, around 5-story corkscrews and along twisting water coasters. "Kids will love jungle-themed slides and fountains, as well as Splasher's, a Mayan-themed water playground that’s perfect for the smallest guests," adds Gifford. 960 1280

Courtesy of Kerzner International  

Schlitterbahn, Kansas City

Schlitterbahn, Kansas City

Get ready for the world’s tallest waterslide, set to open at Schlitterbahn in summer 2014. According to Insane Coaster Wars producer Steve VanDis, the excitement is building for this one. "This 17-story waterslide will be the tallest waterslide in the world, with just the construction of this massive coaster dominating the skyline," he says. Those not so keen on stomach-hurling rides may be more comfortable floating on the lazy river or relaxing in a private beach cabana (which you can reserve ahead of time) while watching the kids play on 13 mini-slides. Looking to save money? Pack a picnic (you can bring your own food and drinks into the park) and grab a table near Henry’s Hideaway so you can have a breather while the kids play nearby, suggests VanDis. 960 1280

Schlitterbahn Kansas City  

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Calling all Dolly Parton and country music fans! Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood combines a family-fun atmosphere with down-home country music and fare, including a new lemonade stand featuring over 300 flavors. Kreischer says Dollywood is his favorite family-friendly park, and a perfect spot for a family reunion. Dollywood hosts 5 annual festivals in 2014, including the popular Barbeque & Bluegrass festival that pairs the best barbecue in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass (May 24 -June 8). Fair warning, don’t expect to see Dolly here in person, but you can visit Dolly’s Smoky Mountain Home, an attraction modeled after the country singer’s childhood home. 960 1280

Dollywood  

Noah’s Ark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Noah’s Ark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

When it comes to water parks, Kreischer’s pick is Noah's Ark, the largest water park in the US located in Wisconsin Dells, WI, and for one simple reason: Scorpion's Tail! "This is a ride you have to ride multiple times just to figure out what is happening to your body. You start in a coffin-like capsule, then the floor drops out from underneath you, and you freefall for roughly 40 to 50 feet before you're flipped upside down and around in the high-speed, G pulling loop. Before you know it you're squirted out for the masses with a look of shock on your face as they giggle and see you try to figure out what just happened," says Kreischer, who rode this ride over 20 times the first day it opened. Don’t miss trying to hang 10 on the park's newest attraction, Surfing Safari. Or for gentler rides, there’s Bumper Boats and several lazy rivers to relax on in family-size tubes. 960 1280

Noah’s Ark  

Busch Gardens, Virginia

Busch Gardens, Virginia

Don’t have the time or money to take the family to Europe? Head to Busch Gardens for a taste of the "Old World" culture in Williamsburg, VA, which features attractions like Escape from Pompeii, Loch Ness Monster and the 3-D ride, Europe in the Air. There’s more here than just the coasters according to VanDis. "Whether you’re here for the annual Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival or just enjoying the food stands and eateries, the food is always amazing. I love the BBQ spot and I try to stop by every time I’m there," he says. Steve’s all-time favorite coaster? Griffon. At over 200 feet high, it’s still the fastest dive coaster in the world, reaching speeds over 70 mph. Just plan on eating after riding this one. 960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Tokyo DisneySea, Japan

Tokyo DisneySea, Japan

"There is nothing like Tokyo DisneySea anywhere else on the planet. The moment you step foot inside the park you are transported to another world unlike any other Disney park you've ever seen, with some of the best themed environments ever created," says Robb Alvey, theme park expert, Insane Coaster Wars. Attractions like Journey to the Center of the Earth (a thrilling voyage through the park's centerpiece volcano); a Japanese version of Tower of Terror; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; a section dedicated to The Little Mermaid, and the Raging Spirits roller coaster make up just a handful of the unique Disney rides and attractions found at this park. 960 1280

stevenocchipinti, flickr  

Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World, Orlando

Walt Disney World has more to offer than just its 4 main parks – there is also a water park you can’t miss during your stay, too. "Themed as a 'ski resort that is melting' this water park stands out as my favorite water park in the world," says Alvey. There is something for everyone here. For thrill seekers, there is Summit Plummet, once the world's tallest water slide, and for families there are many different attractions including Teamboat Springs, Alvey’s favorite "family raft ride." 960 1280

Gene Duncan, Disney  

Hudson Valley, New York
Hudson Valley, New York

Hudson Valley, New York

“What’s on my fall drive checklist? Sinuous roads, sweeping vistas, elevation changes, barns and more barns, pleasant farm animals, homes you wish you could live in, a farmers market and and a cool diner for lunch. My favorite fall drive this year has all of the above and then some. As an agricultural area, Duchess County in New York’s Hudson Valley has some of the most beautiful land you’ll ever set your eyes on.” – Samantha Brown, Travel Host 960 1280

Dutchess County Tourism  

Hudson Valley Road Trip

Hudson Valley Road Trip

“Use Route 82 and Route 44 in Salt Point, NY, as your bookends and all the roads in between as your playground.” – Samantha Brown, Travel Host

See Interactive Map
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Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

“Head to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland to enjoy gorgeous views by car along 2 fall foliage heritage tours. Motor along Route 219 up to the Deep Creek Lake overlook in McHenry for a look at the lake, ski slopes and breathtaking autumn foliage before heading back to the visitors center as part of a 90-minute driving loop.”  -- <i>Erin Gifford, Family Travel Expert, Kidventurous.com</i> 960 1280

Garrett County Chamber of Commerce  

Deep Creek Lake Road Trip

Deep Creek Lake Road Trip

“For a longer drive try Historic National Road, which starts near Deep Creek Lake and winds through 6 states. Foliage peaks in early- to mid-October. Slow down for parades, pumpkin chucking and ice cream sundae-eating contests at the annual Autumn Glory Festival (Oct. 9-13), a real family favorite.” -- Erin Gifford, Family Travel Expert, Kidventurous.com

See Interactive Map
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Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

“An easy drive from Washington, DC, Harpers Ferry in West Virginia has fall foliage that’s worth the drive the third to fourth week in October. When we take the kids, I like the Jefferson Rock hike, which is less than 1 mile and has a vista overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.” -- <i>Erin Gifford, Family Travel Expert, Kidventurous.com</i> 960 1280

Jeffrey D. Walters / Moment / Getty Images  

Harpers Ferry Road Trip

Harpers Ferry Road Trip

“Another good spot for leaf peeping is Bolivar Heights, a Civil War battlefield across from the park entrance. You’ll find easy, flat trails and great views.” -- <i>Erin Gifford, Family Travel Expert, Kidventurous.com</i><br/><br/><a href="https://roadtrippers.com/trips/521e22ce9d0782c36b0000f3 " target="_blank"><b>See Interactive Map</b></a> 960 1280

  

Route 112, New Hampshire

Route 112, New Hampshire

“This grand dame of foliage routes -- the ‘Kanc’ (Kancamagus Highway) -- is always worth a drive, but I suggest taking Route 112 west past the quaint little town of Woodstock, NH. Continue on Route 112 to Kinsman Notch at Beaver Pond -- a great spot for beginners and pros alike to photograph fall foliage.” -- <i> Jeff “Foliage” Folger, Fall Foliage Sage and Photographer</i>  960 1280

Denis Jr. Tangney / E+ / Getty Images  

Route 112 Road Trip

Route 112 Road Trip

“The best part of this area outside of the White Mountains is all the little side roads to explore. I found Coffin Pond off Route 116 -- don’t get going too fast or you will miss it. On a windless day it can have incredible reflections of the low hills surrounding the pond.” -- Jeff “Foliage” Folger, Fall Foliage Sage and Photographer

See Interactive Map
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Route 7, Vermont

Route 7, Vermont

“In southern Vermont, Route 7 runs north/south through the Green Mountains. During a stretch just north of Bennington is a valley between 2 ridgelines covered in trees, many of them maples and birch. Around Oct. 12-15 is a great time to take a drive up Route 7 to see peak colors.” -- Jeff “Foliage” Folger, Fall Foliage Sage and Photographer 960 1280

Jeff Folger  

Route 7 Road Trip

Route 7 Road Trip

“You also have a great little college town in Manchester to explore and shop in and the home of Robert Todd Lincoln for history buffs. Then the road names are very interesting. If you get a good map book out, you will find places like Mad Tom Notch -- doesn’t that scream to be explored?” -- Jeff “Foliage” Folger, Fall Foliage Sage and Photographer

See Interactive Map
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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin

"Wisconsin is a magical land in the North, where the beer flows like wine and there are rivers of cheese. Not really, but pretty close to it. The Badger State is also the homeland of American architectural icon Frank Lloyd Wright. Fall is the perfect time of year to visit his organic designs, which are particularly stunning when set amidst the changing fall foliage.” -- James Fisher, Founder and CEO of RoadTrippers.com 960 1280

Taliesin Preservation, Inc.  

Wisconsin Road Trip

Wisconsin Road Trip

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes and buildings were designed to work in harmony with their environment. Driving through southern Wisconsin, some highlights include Taliesin, Wright’s summer home, Wingspread, the ‘epitome of organic architecture,’ and the Seth Peterson Cottage, which you can rent as a vacation home." -- James Fisher, Founder and CEO of RoadTrippers.com

See Interactive Map
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Twain’s Great River Road, Mississippi to Hannibal, MO

Twain’s Great River Road, Mississippi to Hannibal, MO

"As a boy in England, I was obsessed with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Loquacious and satirical, Mark Twain really knows how to woo a man. Driving down the Mississippi to Hannibal, MO, it isn’t too hard to find the inspiration behind Twain’s iconic coming-of-age novel. Traveling along Twain’s Great River Road during autumn provides incredible leaf-peeping opportunities at every bend.” -- James Fisher, Founder and CEO of RoadTrippers.com 960 1280

Courtesy of the Missouri Division of Tourism  

Twain’s Great River Road Trip

Twain’s Great River Road Trip

“This road trip finishes up in Hannibal, where you can visit Twain’s boyhood home and a slew of other Twain-inspired attractions." -- James Fisher, Founder and CEO of RoadTrippers.com

See Interactive Map
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Ricketts Glen State Park, Northeast Pennsylvania

Ricketts Glen State Park, Northeast Pennsylvania

“Living in the Northeast we are blessed with beautiful fall foliage color due to an abundance of sugar maple and birch trees that turn vibrant orange, red and yellow each year. One of my favorite local drives for a day of leaf peeping is Ricketts Glen State Park off Route 29 and Route 487 in northeast Pennsylvania. The combination of 22 waterfalls, mountains and gorgeous 200-year-old trees make for absolutely stunning photos.” -- Bill Kirk, CEO of Weather Trends International and Meteorologist 960 1280

OGphoto  

Ricketts Glen State Park Road Trip

Ricketts Glen State Park Road Trip

“While the drive here is spectacular, you’ll have to brave a 3-mile hike to really experience the stunning fall color. The waterfalls make it well worth getting out of the car, and the photos and memories of a great day trip will last a lifetime.” -- Bill Kirk, CEO of Weather Trends International and Meteorologist

See Interactive Map
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Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive, Virginia

“I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains when I went to college in the “Valley” in Harrisonburg, VA. Weekend trips to escape campus often included hiking or driving through the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. There’s no better time to visit this National Scenic Byway than fall, when the fall foliage peaks the second to third week in October. Now that I live in Washington, DC, it’s only a few hours away -- still perfect for a weekend fall getaway.” -- Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer, Travel Channel 960 1280

Getty Images  

Skyline Drive Road Trip

Skyline Drive Road Trip

“One of the best parts of Skyline Drive is from Front Royal to Rt. 211 -- it’s around 32 miles, with plenty of overlooks for snapping photos. These days, I like to combine my leaf peeping with wine tasting in Virginia’s Wine Country, too. There’s no shortage of wineries to stop at in the area, but some of my favorites include Fox Meadow Vineyards and Gray Ghost Vineyards.” -- Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer, Travel Channel

See Interactive Map
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Lake Wallenpaupack, Northeast Pennsylvania

Lake Wallenpaupack, Northeast Pennsylvania

“Another great spot even closer to the Big Apple is Route 507 around Lake Wallenpaupack in northeast Pennsylvania. The good news: Here at Weather Trends we are projecting ideal fall color this year in the Northeast due to very favorable summer and fall weather conditions unlike last year when record October cold and Superstorm Sandy made for a very short and somewhat dull season.” -- Bill Kirk, CEO of Weather Trends International and Meteorologist 960 1280

Lake Wallenpaupack/ The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, PoconoMountains.com  

Lake Wallenpaupack Road Trip

Lake Wallenpaupack Road Trip

“Stop in Hawley for some lunch and be sure to take the hour scenic boat ride around the lake for more stunning photos.” -- Bill Kirk, CEO of Weather Trends International and Meteorologist

See Interactive Map
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Fan Favorite: Smoky Mountains

Fan Favorite: Smoky Mountains

We asked you what we missed on our list and for you to tell us your favorite fall foliage road trip. It was a landslide – The Great Smoky Mountains won out! Hop in your car and take in the scenery as you drive around Gatlinburg, a picturesque mountain town nestled in the scenic Smokies. Now is the perfect time -- fall colors peak here in mid-October. 960 1280

Zhuzhu / iStock / Getty Images  

Blackberry Farm Walland TN

Blackberry Farm Walland TN

People may not think of Tennessee as a typical spot for an all-inclusive vacation, but BlackBerry Farm is exceptional. "This secluded Smoky Mountains escape is one of the top destinations in the country for foodies and outdoorsy types, and the delicious farm-to-table cuisine is included in the price," says Kelsey Blodget, managing editor of Oyster.com.

Check out our previous list, Travel's Best All-Inclusive Resorts 2014, if you're looking for more travel inspiration for a worry-free getaway.
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Kreis Beall and Heather Anne Thomas  

Carlisle Bay, Antigua

Carlisle Bay, Antigua

Carlisle Bay is an intimate, comfortable and contemporary resort on the Caribbean island of Antigua. "Each of the 82 suites, ranging from studio to 3-bedroom, boasts ocean views and amenities that will have you yearning for nothing, other than more time to spend in paradise," says Susan B. Barnes, travel writer for TravlinGirl.com. Carlisle Bay’s amenities include the Blue Spa, a state-of-the-art health club, a multimedia screening room, 3 bars, 4 restaurants and a pool. 960 1280

  

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua

Jumby Bay Resort has 5 places to dine; the Sense Spa with breathtaking views of the Caribbean; an 82-foot, family-friendly pool; an oceanfront infinity pool; and luxe accommodations that range from rooms and suites to villas and beach homes. "This resort is perfect for couples or families and a little more distinctive than your typical Sandals or other all-inclusive resort," says Anthony Melchiorri, hotel fixer on Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible. 960 1280

  

Marival Resort & Suites Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Marival Resort & Suites Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

The Marival Resort & Suites is the place to go if you’re looking for an all-inclusive getaway. "Don’t miss out on the great deals," says Kwin Mosby. "Book an all-inclusive room or suite and receive a $250 airfare credit or a spa credit. Bring the family, and you can cut 50% off the regular rate." Talk to the concierge about an array of fun activities in the area, such as a 4x4 mountain adventure or a sunset cruise to the private cove, Las Caletas. 960 1280

  

One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico

One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico

"One& Only Palmilla is one of the top all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon," says Kelsey Blodget. And when they say it's all-inclusive, they mean it. Guest won't believe the numerous unexpected extras are included – from luggage unpacking to 24-hour butler service to snacks delivered to the rooms. Gorgeous room decor incorporates traditional Mexican accents, and some have private pools with ocean views. 960 1280

One&Only  

Parrot Cay and Como Shambhala Retreat, Turks and Caicos

Parrot Cay and Como Shambhala Retreat, Turks and Caicos

"For those looking for a secluded, uber-decadent getaway in the Caribbean, this is hands-down one of the best options out there," says Kelsey Blodget. Parrot Cay by Como is a 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, with a jaw-dropping beach, a world-renowned spa, free yoga classes and breathtaking ocean-view villas. 960 1280

  

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, MT

The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, MT

The Ranch at Rock Creek provides guests with the option to stay in a luxe tent, a canvas cabin, a private log home or 1 of 9 rooms at the Granite Lodge. All rates include the regionally inspired meals and drinks. Participate in the wide array of activities available at the ranch, such as mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. "This is my kind of all-inclusive getaway," says Kwin Mosby, managing producer for TravelChannel.com. 960 1280

  

Red Mountain Resort, St. George, UT

Red Mountain Resort, St. George, UT

Red Mountain Resort is the perfect place to relax and renew your spirit, offering guests luxurious spa treatments, weekend wellness retreats, outdoor excursions such as canyoneering, and much more. "If you go, be sure to visit the Sagestone Spa, which offers nature-inspired treatments using indigenous desert botanicals and locally sourced, mineral-rich muds and clays," says Shane Green. 960 1280

Al Payne  

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

"This resort is one of my favorites," says Anthony Melchiorri. "The white sand of Bavaro Beach, which was recognized by UNESCO, is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world." In addition to the beach, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real has a full-service Yhi Spa with a fully equipped gym, 3 pools, a family concierge, the Kids Zone (for children ages 1-12) and 2 a la carte restaurants. 960 1280

  

Travaasa, Austin, TX

Travaasa, Austin, TX

When it comes to healthy getaways, there are plenty of destinations from which to choose, but few can hold a candle to Travaasa, outside Austin. "Travaasa’s greatest asset may just be its staff, who go above and beyond to make sure each of their guests have experiences that will make memories to last a lifetime," says Susan B. Barnes. 960 1280

  

Best Destinations for Travel's Best

Travel Channel Visits the Best in Travel

The Grace Bay Club - Turks and Caicos

Shane Green's Top 10 Resorts

Hospitality consultant Shane Green shares his top 10 favorite resorts.
The Grace Bay Club - Turks and Caicos

The Grace Bay Club - Turks and Caicos

“This is a great family destination. We love Grace Bay Club’s easy access to the beach, 4 pools, restaurants and bars, as well as the amazing service. There is also a great array of water sports activities for all ages, including paddleboarding. The staff is great at helping guests fully enjoy a relaxing experience on the resort’s 1,100 feet of beachfront -- the largest of any in Turks and Caicos.”  960 1280

The Grace Bay Club  

Hayman Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hayman Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

“This resort has great food, a great staff and great adventures -- all on the most beautiful reef in the world. Hayman Island is the premier family destination Down Under. For almost 2 years, my wife and I worked and played on the island. What makes this destination special is that any guest will quickly feel at home. This private-island paradise is one of the world’s most desirable hideaways, and the rooms at Hayman Island beachfront villas might be the epitome of perfection. Another fun perk is guests arrive in style via a luxury yacht.”  960 1280

Hayman Island  

Dawson Falls Lodge – Egmont National Park, New Zealand

Dawson Falls Lodge – Egmont National Park, New Zealand

“Considered one of the most romantic destinations in New Zealand, Dawson Falls Lodge is only a couple of miles from my childhood home. Many of my days and nights were spent hiking and camping on Mount Egmont near this resort. Dawson Falls Lodge is a must for those who love access to the unspoiled outdoors.”  960 1280

Dawson Falls Lodge  

Lapa Rios Lodge – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Lapa Rios Lodge – Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

"Lapa Rios Lodge is a perfect option for nature lovers who enjoy wildlife and beaches. This resort is known for its amazing ecotourism, its delicious food and drinks, and its access to some of the most exciting wildlife experiences in Costa Rica. My wife and I enjoyed a couple of romantic days immersed in the surrounding wildlife, waking up to howler monkeys, kayaking with dolphins, hiking through the rainforest and walking at night to see bats, frogs and snakes." 960 1280

Lapa Rios Lodge  

St. Regis - Bora Bora

St. Regis - Bora Bora

“Most people have seen the famed pictures of the St. Regis bungalows over the water that display the mountainous island peak in the background. It is as dazzling as you might imagine. Visitors enjoy diving into the water from their balconies, dining on fresh fish, experiencing Jet Ski adventures, and scuba diving to see a wide variety of indigenous fish and coral. This is one of my favorite diving destinations. My wife and I got engaged here, so it will always have a special place in our hearts. It is a great stop on any trip to Australia.” 960 1280

St. Regis  

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge - Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge - Tanzania

“Luxury is at its best as you step back in time at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge with its spectacular colonial design. Here, guests have access to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, one of the best wildlife reserves in Africa. One of the most unique experiences was waking up each day with amazing views of wildlife roaming around just outside of our room. Dinner and drinks are served in a communal setting where adventures from the day are retold and immediate friendships are formed.” 960 1280

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge  

Red Rock Resort & Spa

Red Rock Resort & Spa

"The Red Rock Resort & Spa is a great resort destination for travelers who want to avoid the craziness of the Las Vegas Strip. It has some of the best suites in Las Vegas. The resort offers guided hikes through the spectacular Red Rock Mountains as part of its Adventure Spa program. There is also a great selection of dining options, an amazing spa and beautiful amenities. My wife and I lived at this resort for weeks during our move to Vegas. For unique experiences with family and friends, guests should check out the private VIP bowling lanes and movie rooms.” 960 1280

apple   

The Chedi Chiang Mai – Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Chedi Chiang Mai – Chiang Mai, Thailand

“The Chedi Chiang Mai hotel hosts a wonderful feast in the heart of Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand, to celebrate the Festival of Lights in November. Each year people celebrate 2 concurrent Thai festivals, Loy Krathong and Yi Peng, by sending floats down a river and making wishes and releasing hot-air lanterns at night. My wife and I had the opportunity to spend 3 memorable days enjoying these festivals and celebrating with the staff at this hotel.”  960 1280

The Chedi Chiang Mai  

The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey – Marina del Rey, CA

The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey – Marina del Rey, CA

“I love how the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey is located on the marina, close to the LA airport and surrounded by great local hangouts. The sunsets at Marina del Rey are majestic. After working at this hotel for 8 years, I have many great memories here. Guests can take a short road trip to Venice Beach for the best free entertainment in the US; visit Abbot Kinney for some of the best art and dining; and head to Washington Boulevard for its great bars and hangouts.”  960 1280

The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey  

Amanyara – Turks and Caicos

Amanyara – Turks and Caicos

“My wife and I were married on the beach at this hotel, which makes it special for us, but it was all of the little touches from the staff that made this selection endure as one of our favorite hotels. Amanyara features luxurious room, amazing restaurants and a great spa, making it a truly romantic destination.”  960 1280

Amanyara  

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