Travel's Best Amusement Parks and Water Parks 2014

From Tokyo’s DisneySea to Tennessee’s Dollywood, our advisors handpicked the most thrilling theme parks for our family fun list, Travel's Best Amusement and Water Parks 2014.

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Pet Travel Bowl
Pet Travel Bowl

Pet Travel Bowl

“Picture this: You’re on a long car ride, and suddenly, the dog begins to lick the condensation on the outside of your water bottle. Shoot! She needs water. But what to put it in? Don’t get caught in a pinch! These squishy pet travel bowls fold up so small, you can literally take them anywhere. An added bonus: they’re super cute!” -- Allee, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Dayna Winter  

Tablet Folio

Tablet Folio

"What’s the one thing we never leave home without? Our tablet, of course! I could forget my passport, but never my tablet (or iPad – whichever you prefer). And protection is key, so take care of it with the Tablet Folio from Fab.com." -- Rani, Managing Producer 960 1280

Fab.com  

Jewelry Travel Pouch

Jewelry Travel Pouch

"I've found when I travel with jewelry I tend to only bring a few special pieces, which would perfectly tuck into this chic jewelry pouch. I'm usually not a fan of monograms, but the gold, block letters still feel modern." – Sara, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Clare Vivier  

Eskuche Control v2 Headphones

Eskuche Control v2 Headphones

“The one thing I can't travel without is a good pair of headphones, but I still can't bring myself to drop $200 on a pair. Eskuche Control v2 headphones have all the quality, comfort and style of a high-end pair of headphones, but at a much more reasonable price. The retro styling keeps you hip while killing time at the airport or falling asleep on the plane, and the square, plush ear cups fit comfortably over your ears, so you can avoid the dreaded earring poke.” -- Amanda, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Eskuche  

Contigo Travel Mug

Contigo Travel Mug

“The Contigo travel mug is the perfect vessel for road trips. When you fill it with your beverage of choice, you don't need to worry about spilling anything if the mug topples over during a hard turn … unless it's filled with Pellegrino, as it doesn't always work well with carbonated drinks.” -- Arthur, Video Producer 960 1280

Contigo  

Skagen Watch

Skagen Watch

"I am a huge fan of watches. After scouring websites and retail stores, I found this affordable, yet sleek and classy Skagen watch – it’s the perfect gift for a watch lover.” – Ben, Interactive Producer
 960 1280

Skagen Denmark  

Book Dock

Book Dock

“If you travel a lot, making your destination feel a little more homey is always a plus and a Book Dock by Rich Neeley Designs can do just that. Every dock is unique and fits a variety of tablets and smartphones. I love that they keep my devices in one steady place, too, so I can avoid losing my smartphone in a hotel room’s unfamiliar nooks and crannies.” – Liz, Photo Editor 960 1280

Rich Neeley Designs  

Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

“I’m obsessed with SUP (stand-up paddleboarding); I even have even taken up SUP yoga. The only problem is there’s no easy way to carry those giant boards around. My problem is solved with this Tower inflatable stand-up paddleboard! Now I can easily carry my board when I travel, as it folds up, comes with its own carrying bag and even fits in the overhead compartment on a plane. Perfect for my next trip to Hawaii.” -- Kathleen, Interactive Producer 960 1280

  

North Face Insulated Down Jacket

North Face Insulated Down Jacket

“With the Farmers’ Almanac predicting a nasty 2013-2014 winter season, it’s time to get back to the basics, with this sturdy, yet sleek long winter coat from The North Face. I’m hoping it will keep me warm in the wilds of Montana this winter!” -- Lisa, Interactive Producer 960 1280

The North Face  

Greek Isles
Greek Isles

Greek Isles

What’s not to love about the Greek isles? With 227 islands to choose from, you’ve got plenty of options. Santorini is best known as a romantic honeymoon destination with breathtaking sunsets, while Mykonos and Crete showcase some of the world’s most beautiful beaches -- and of course, pulsating Greek nightlife! Can’t decide which island is for you? Take an Aegean Sea cruise and see what each has to offer! 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Perched over the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast is a great winter getaway. You may not be lounging poolside in your bikini in the dead of winter, but the temperature along this rocky green coastline rarely drops below 50 degrees. For a dose of history, visit nearby Pompeii, and take the hydrofoil to Capri to see the sunlight stream into the fabled Blue Grotto. Oh, and don’t leave without at least a few sips of limoncello! 960 1280

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South Beach, Miami

South Beach, Miami

Head to South Beach, FL, this winter to see the sexiest sunbathers in the US. Known as the second home to several celebrities, this Miami hood is also revered for its warm winter weather, pastel Art Deco architecture, exclusive nightclubs, hip boutique hotels and high-end shops. Don’t leave without sampling the cuisine at popular restaurants like Joe’s Stone Crab. Take an oceanfront bike ride to burn off the calories. Note: If you really want to let it all hang out, take a short trip to Haulover Beach to sunbathe au naturel. 960 1280

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Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii

There's a reason this waterfall was featured in the opening credits of the classic TV show Fantasy Island -- Wailua Falls is a fantasy come true. Venture off the beaten path for an up-close look at the 173-foot falls that Hawaiian men in times past would leap from to prove their manhood. Nowadays, the less adventurous of us can enjoy the falls from the safety of Maalo Road. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

There is no place like La La Land, home to the nation’s best weather and to Hollywood's biggest stars. Drive 10 to 15 minutes in any direction, and you'll more than likely be dipping your toes in the sand in no time. People watch on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, where you'll never know what sideshow you just may see, or venture down to Manhattan Beach to spot a celebrity.  960 1280

Danita Delimont/ Gallo Images/ Getty Images  

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Taste a slice of paradise in the Dominican Republic, the small island in the Caribbean just west of Puerto Rico. The "DR," as it’s often called, is filled with great people, food and culture. For a savory late-night snack, head to Barra Payan, an eatery that sells hot sandwiches 24 hours a day. Hungry for an ocean view? Swing by Boca Chica Beach, and enjoy the waves like the local children do each day.  960 1280

Jane Sweeney/ AWL Images/ Getty Images  

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego isn’t called “America’s Finest City” for nothing. Sure, you may have to bring your parka come winter, but you’re not likely to see any white flurries in this coastal haven -- snow’s only been seen here 5 times over the last 150 years. Hang 10 at San Diego’s Black’s Beach, and hightail it to Cabrillo National Momument to see gray whales migrate through the area beginning in mid- to late December. 960 1280

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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A short flight from LA, Los Cabos has become a winter playground for the rich and famous. Thirty miles of beautiful beaches, accompanied by watersports like scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as world-class resorts, golf courses and hip nightlife, are all reasons why Cabo San Lucas attracts an A-list crowd. 960 1280

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

It's easy to see why Costa Rica has been named the happiest country on Earth. With its beautiful beaches, warm water, rainforests, exotic wildlife and laid-back culture -- who wouldn't be happy here? Costa Ricans have a saying, "Pura vida," which loosely translates as "Life is good." And in Costa Rica, it certainly is. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan  

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Escape to Brazil’s hot spot, Rio de Janeiro, this winter. You’ll be able to fully enjoy the beaches, luxurious hotels and all the sights without the summertime crowds sure to accompany next summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup. Check out the tall and tanned and young and lovely girls and guys from Ipanema, stay at the Copacabana and experience Christ the Redeemer -- one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. 960 1280

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car on route 89 in utah with a long view to mountains in distance
Heritage Highway 89, Utah

Heritage Highway 89, Utah

"This route links several distinct areas of scenic beauty and Western history. Glass and woodworking studios reflect this heritage, and the towns boast numerous well-preserved historic buildings," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Visit the Butch Cassidy Museum in Richfield; take a dip in the Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe; and shop for antiques in Sevier. Finish up exploring other wonderful destinations within easy reach, including Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks." 960 1280

Adam Kliczek [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive, Virginia

"This road through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has the views to live up to its name, but get out and hike for the real reward," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. "Stop at a camp store — if only to observe the Appalachian Trail hikers gathered to rest, refuel and socialize. Strike up a conversation, and you'll hear true tales of stamina and fortitude." 960 1280

By Philip N. Wheeler [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

"Seattle is known for its robust ferry system, which connects the islands of Washington state. From downtown Seattle, you can drive onto a ferry that will take you across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, the start of a fantastic road trip around the Olympic Peninsula," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "Fantastic inns, restaurants and outdoor activities await. On a clear day, drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge for views of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca." 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images  

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

"Beartooth Highway itself is the highest-elevation highway in the Northern Rockies and one of the most rugged areas in the Lower 48 states (20 peaks surpass 12,000 feet in elevation)," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "Hit the Rock Creek Vista Point rest area (which is at 9,000 feet above sea level) and the West Summit (whose highest point is at 11,000 feet) to feel the full significance of Beartooth’s elevation. Note that gnarly weather is a factor, so double-check that the passes are open before you make the trek." 960 1280

WizardFusion [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

"The Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, British Columbia, is a beautiful drive with lots of great attractions along the way. The road hugs the North Shore Mountains, offering picturesque views of the many small islands in the Pacific Ocean," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Take a ride up the Sea to Sky Gondola, which takes you to the top of the iconic Stawamus Chief. This mountain is known worldwide for its rock climbing and hiking trails, as well as its stunning vistas of the valley below." 960 1280

By D. Vincent Alongi (Sea to Sky HwyUploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

"Start in picturesque Dubuque, IA, home of the shortest, steepest railway in the world and an aquarium that showcases the fish of the Mississippi," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Head north on the Great River Road to Prairie du Chien, WI, a river town with a colorful past. Visit villages such as Harpers Ferry and Lansing, IA, or check out the world’s largest six-pack of beer in La Crosse, WI." 960 1280
Gulf Coast, Alabama

Gulf Coast, Alabama

"Road trip along the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll want to spend most of your time — and food budget — on Alabama's coast. Yes, you'll love its sugary white-sand beaches and Caribbean-like waters, but the real treasure here is the food," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. 960 1280

toddmedia / E+ / Getty Images  

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

"Located on the central border of Arizona and Utah is one of the most stunning recreational areas in the country, Page-Lake Powell," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "It’s extremely scenic, with tall canyons, red-rock formations and sand dunes, and it’s an unparalleled place for activities such as houseboating, waterskiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping and so much more." 960 1280

Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany (Lake Powell) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

17-­Mile Drive, California

17-­Mile Drive, California

"The 17-Mile Drive through the Monterey Peninsula rivals the Pacific Coast Highway in quintessential California fame and beauty," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "This loop hugs the coastline, running alongside Pebble Beach Golf Links, past the landmark Lone Cypress and through the Del Monte Forest." 960 1280
Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

"Just a short 2-hour road trip north of Las Vegas, you’ll find State Highway 375, aka the Extraterrestrial Highway. This is the place where more UFO sightings are reported than anywhere else in America. Highway 375 is located fairly close to Area 51, making it a unique road-trip experience," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Along the way, you’ll pass several alien-themed shops and roadside attractions." 960 1280

By Famartin [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Photos

Heritage Highway 89, Utah

Heritage Highway 89, Utah

"This route links several distinct areas of scenic beauty and Western history. Glass and woodworking studios reflect this heritage, and the towns boast numerous well-preserved historic buildings," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Visit the Butch Cassidy Museum in Richfield; take a dip in the Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe; and shop for antiques in Sevier. Finish up exploring other wonderful destinations within easy reach, including Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks." 960 1280

Adam Kliczek [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive, Virginia

"This road through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has the views to live up to its name, but get out and hike for the real reward," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. "Stop at a camp store — if only to observe the Appalachian Trail hikers gathered to rest, refuel and socialize. Strike up a conversation, and you'll hear true tales of stamina and fortitude." 960 1280

By Philip N. Wheeler [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

"Seattle is known for its robust ferry system, which connects the islands of Washington state. From downtown Seattle, you can drive onto a ferry that will take you across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, the start of a fantastic road trip around the Olympic Peninsula," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "Fantastic inns, restaurants and outdoor activities await. On a clear day, drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge for views of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca." 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images  

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

"Beartooth Highway itself is the highest-elevation highway in the Northern Rockies and one of the most rugged areas in the Lower 48 states (20 peaks surpass 12,000 feet in elevation)," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "Hit the Rock Creek Vista Point rest area (which is at 9,000 feet above sea level) and the West Summit (whose highest point is at 11,000 feet) to feel the full significance of Beartooth’s elevation. Note that gnarly weather is a factor, so double-check that the passes are open before you make the trek." 960 1280

WizardFusion [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

"The Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, British Columbia, is a beautiful drive with lots of great attractions along the way. The road hugs the North Shore Mountains, offering picturesque views of the many small islands in the Pacific Ocean," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Take a ride up the Sea to Sky Gondola, which takes you to the top of the iconic Stawamus Chief. This mountain is known worldwide for its rock climbing and hiking trails, as well as its stunning vistas of the valley below." 960 1280

By D. Vincent Alongi (Sea to Sky HwyUploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

"Start in picturesque Dubuque, IA, home of the shortest, steepest railway in the world and an aquarium that showcases the fish of the Mississippi," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Head north on the Great River Road to Prairie du Chien, WI, a river town with a colorful past. Visit villages such as Harpers Ferry and Lansing, IA, or check out the world’s largest six-pack of beer in La Crosse, WI." 960 1280
Gulf Coast, Alabama

Gulf Coast, Alabama

"Road trip along the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll want to spend most of your time — and food budget — on Alabama's coast. Yes, you'll love its sugary white-sand beaches and Caribbean-like waters, but the real treasure here is the food," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. 960 1280

toddmedia / E+ / Getty Images  

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

"Located on the central border of Arizona and Utah is one of the most stunning recreational areas in the country, Page-Lake Powell," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "It’s extremely scenic, with tall canyons, red-rock formations and sand dunes, and it’s an unparalleled place for activities such as houseboating, waterskiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping and so much more." 960 1280

Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany (Lake Powell) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

17-­Mile Drive, California

17-­Mile Drive, California

"The 17-Mile Drive through the Monterey Peninsula rivals the Pacific Coast Highway in quintessential California fame and beauty," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "This loop hugs the coastline, running alongside Pebble Beach Golf Links, past the landmark Lone Cypress and through the Del Monte Forest." 960 1280
Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

"Just a short 2-hour road trip north of Las Vegas, you’ll find State Highway 375, aka the Extraterrestrial Highway. This is the place where more UFO sightings are reported than anywhere else in America. Highway 375 is located fairly close to Area 51, making it a unique road-trip experience," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Along the way, you’ll pass several alien-themed shops and roadside attractions." 960 1280

By Famartin [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Best Ballpark Food

Best Ballpark Food

Steering away from the ballpark classics (i.e. peanuts hot dogs French fries) we've got our eye on the best ballpark food at Washington DC's Nationals Park stadium: the roasted cauliflower sandwich from Chef Mike Isabella's G. "There is no better bite during a ballgame than a sandwich from G" says Nevin Martell. "Choose from a rag?-rich chicken Parmesan accented with Thai basil or a roasted cauliflower soaked with poppy paprika lemon vinaigrette" add Martell. The roasted cauliflower sandwich packs a flavorful punch especially for vegetarians or vegans looking for something delightful at the game. You're welcome! 960 1280

Greg Powers  

Best Ice Cream Shop

Best Ice Cream Shop

We're taking you back in time to the heyday of shave ice but this time with a twist: it's accompanied by ice cream! Our pick for best ice cream shop in the summer is Matsumoto on Hawaii's North Shore. Established in 1951 Matsumoto provides over 1000 shave ices to tourists each year. "Make sure you get with ice cream underneath. Will change your life" says Chef Michael Voltaggio. Who doesn't love a little ice accompanied by cream? 960 1280

Matsumoto Shave Ice  

Best Seafood Restaurant

Best Seafood Restaurant

Summers in the Northeast automatically mean that it's time for fresh lobster. Our pick for best seafood restaurant to get said lobster is the adorable Beach Plum Restaurant (connected to The Beach Plum Inn) located in the small town of Menemsha in Martha's Vineyard MA overlooking Menemsha Harbor. "Chef Chris Fischer grows his own vegetables at his Beetlebung Farm. The food is fresh delicious and not too fussy. You can watch the fishing boats come in with their daily haul" adds Peden and Munk. 960 1280

Elana Carlson/Ashley Jardim  

Best Brunch Spot

Best Brunch Spot

Plump tomatoes certainly say summer and eating them when they are green and fried is a Southern tradition (also eating them outside in the summer sun is a must). Fried green tomatoes are served at Baltimore's legendary brunch spot Miss Shirley's which has locations in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and a few short minutes from Annapolis Harbor. "They've got just the right amount of tang inside and savory crunch outside" says Robin Bennefield. "For a twist on eggs Benedict have them with mini crab cakes and poached eggs dusted with Maryland's Old Bay seasoning. You'll need to walk off Miss Shirley's hearty portions with a stroll along the shimmering harbor." 960 1280

Miss Shirely?s Cafe  

Best (Summer) Restaurant with a View

Best (Summer) Restaurant with a View

Summer can mean a lot of things, but to us it means shorts, flip flops and burgers. And there is no better place to find this than at Le Tub in Hollywood, FL. While you're sinking your teeth into one of their critically acclaimed burgers, enjoy a gorgeous, "Why don't I live here?" view of the Intracoastal Waterway. "You'll gladly wait a well-worth-it hour for a burger as you sip a cold beer overlooking the water, watching mega yachts cruise by," says Robyn Lindars. 960 1280

Mchael Marusin Scott Audette for VISIT FLORIDA  

Best BBQ

Best BBQ

We probably need to create an entire "Best of Barbecue" list to tackle this one but Southern barbecue is at its finest at Southern Soul Barbeque on charming St. Simons Island GA. Their juicy slow-smoked chicken pairs perfectly with their Hoppin' John (black-eyed peas and rice) collard greens and cornbread. "Sit on one of their outdoor picnic benches or grab your BBQ to go and head to one of the many beach areas (just 5 minutes away)" says Danielle "Diva Q" Dimovski. "It is like a mini vacation as you smell the Atlantic Ocean and the delicious wafts of barbecue smoke from one of their many pits" she adds. 960 1280

Benjamin Galland, h2o Creative Group  

Best Food Truck

Best Food Truck

From Washington DC to California there are some "out-of-this-world" food trucks! But "1 truck has never escaped my mind -- Kogi BBQ Taco Truck" says Rani Robinson-Kiganda. Located in Los Angeles Kogi jams an incredible amount of flavor into each bite of its tacos and burritos. "I highly recommend the chicken taco and the sliders -- what used to be a 'special' occurrence on the menu and has since become a permanent menu option. Order either the short rib slider or replace it with a meat of your choice (chicken please!)" adds Robinson-Kiganda. Three different trucks are positioned from Long Beach to Burbank in LA County from Monday to Friday. Follow the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck on Twitter @kogibbq. 960 1280

Eric Shin  

Best Bar Food

Best Bar Food

When choosing the best bar food spot we really had to concentrate on location. There are some great bars out there but Big Sur's Nepenthe made the cut with its stunning mountain views of the California countryside. "I'm one of those beat travelers who stop at Nepenthe in Big Sur after a day of hiking for a few simple pleasures: a glass or 2 of wine from Monterey County and some California-made snacks" says Casey Barber. "Order Nepenthe's Laura Chenel goat cheese and creamy roasted Gilroy garlic while taking in the 360-degree views from the mountain perch of the restaurant's outdoor terrace" adds Barber. 960 1280

Tom Birmingham  

Best Food Festival

Best Food Festival

Nearly every state in America hosts a State Fair each year and with that comes irresistible fair foods. The Minnesota State Fair made our list as one of the best. When it comes down to it it's a massive food fest with nearly 1000 vendors offering favorites like fried cheese curds jumbo buckets of double-dipped French fries giant melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies grilled pork chops on a stick and classics like hamburgers and hot dogs. "Every year I start every day at the fair with a real natural casing German-style foot long hot dog with mustard grilled onions and sauerkraut" says Andrew Zimmern. 960 1280
Best Place for Pie

Best Place for Pie

Using only fresh seasonal ingredients Dangerously Delicious Pies (2 locations in DC 1 in Baltimore MD) quickly rose to the top of our "Best Place for Pie" list. Order summer classics like cherry strawberry blueberry and their noteworthy Key lime pie or go for something authentic -- the Baltimore Bomb pie. "Dangerously Delicious Pies has a unique pie that is stupidly addictive. Berger cookies thick with fudge are melted into a vanilla chess filling to make up the gooey Baltimore Bomb" says Amy McKeever. 960 1280

Dangerously Delicious Pies  

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

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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  

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