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VelvetScoopFinal

The Velvet Scoop

One of the perks of summer is cooling off with a tasty summer treat,  and there’s no better place to find one than in San Francisco. Here are our seven favorite summer treats — some sweet, some savory — to cool you off in the City by the Bay.

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Hot AUgust Nights from Facebook 1

Facebook/Hot Summer Nights

A town on the brink of breaking into the big leagues, Reno is having a moment. And one could argue that summer is one of the best times to check out the growing outdoor and culinary scene, thanks to a handful of festivals that showcase Reno at its best. From a town-wide art festival to a hot air balloon festival that covers the sky with inflatable art, here are our favorites.

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Torrey Pines State Beach Daytime -Courtesy Lisa Field SanDiego.org

Courtesy of Lisa Field / SanDiego.org

San Diego’s wide stretches of sandy beaches can be jam-packed with surfers, families, and sun worshippers — especially on summer weekends. Avoid the crowds at these three often overlooked beaches in San Diego, California.

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Flickr wiredforlego  HarshLight

Flickr/wiredforlego/HarshLight

Planning a trip to Southern California and can’t decide between Disneyland and LEGOLAND? We break down the differences, and here’s what you need to know. Read more

eurail austria pass

Eurail

It’s summertime, and for many that means that big family vacations are just around the corner. And if you’ve done some traveling with kids, whether yours or not, you know the extra head count can add up. Thankfully, there are tons of travel perks for families this season, from cruises to Broadway shows to theme parks. Here, some higher-ticket items that makes traveling with the kids a much easier — and even free.

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Martha Washington Hotel

Chelsea Hotels/Todd Eberle

Father’s Day is just a little more than a week away, and for those still searching for the perfect gift, we’re here to help. Forget a new tie, and instead, whisk Dad away for the holiday in favor a fantastic hotel deal. With something to satisfy almost every interest, from beer and burgers to fishing and zip-lining, make it a weekend he won’t forget.

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Copamarina - from Copamarina1

Copamarina

Delivering high-class relaxation for an affordable price, The Copamarina Beach Resort is a find amidst Puerto Rico’s many spots to worship the sun and enjoy beach culture. The newly renovated grounds show off the resort at its best, bringing an authentic touch of Puerto Rican life to the Caribbean shore — to the town of Guánica, to be more exact. Here’s what we found when we checked in.

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JAPAN-US-ENTERTAINMENT-AIRLINES-ANA-STAR WARS

All Nippon Airways

Look, up in the air! It’s a Hello Kitty, R2D2 and…a flying salmon? Airline liveries are usually pretty ho-hum, but some companies know how to put the fun back in flying with colorful characters and eye-catching exterior paint schemes. Here are a few of our favorites.

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Lehigh Scenic Rail from Facebook 3

Lehigh Scenic Rail/Facebook

A long-standing destination for its copious mountain snow, the Poconos’ summer brings its A-game, too, with an array of warm-weather activities. From choice bike riding trails to a mountain coaster, there’s always something new to explore in the region. Here’s what should go on your summertime travel agenda this year.

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bethany1

Getty Images for SodaStream/Skin

Reality star Bethenny Frankel is always on the go, estimating she’ll spend 100 days on the road this year. If that isn’t proof enough — with a Bravo show and a new book — it’s clear that the Real Housewives of New York castmate and author isn’t slowing down. Her Skinnygirl lifestyle brand just partnered with SodaStream sparkling water to launch two flavored sparkling drink mixes: Cucumber Lime and Mango Berry. “Our flavors are all-natural and low-calorie,” says SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum. We’d like to sip one of those on a sunny beach. And speaking of warmer weather — it’s almost time to travel out to the Hamptons, and there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bethenny is the expert in this swanky beach town. We asked about her favorite Hamptons spots, how to stay healthy while traveling, and her future vacation. Check out our one-on-one chat with the mogul mom.

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lake tahoe - national park

Flickr/Daniel Meacham

National Park Week begins April 18, giving you the chance to visit your favorite national park — or discover a new favorite — for free. Here are five ways you can make the most of the week, which runs through April 26. Read more

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Flickr / BLM New Mexico

Toss the snow shovel and grab the sunscreen! While most of the nation faces bitter cold and mounds of fluffy white stuff, these small town destinations offer moderate temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and a whole lot of fun.

Las Cruces, New Mexico: From wide open spaces to space exploration, Las Cruces has something for just about anyone. Sled down a hill of warm sand at White Sands National Monument, sample wines along the Rio Grande River, or get schooled Scovilles at the Chile Pepper Institute. Or, tour nearby Spaceport America, where the nation’s first space tourists will soon blast off. On your way, stop at Hatch –the birthplace of New Mexico’s infamous green chiles.

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The 1940 Air Terminal Museum

Flickr / Michael Bludworth

The next time you have a day off, head to the airport. These seven airport museums dedicated to aviation are destinations in their own right — and also make for great entertainment if you’re ever stranded with delays.

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum (William P. Hobby Airport, Houston)
Housed in the Art Deco building that served as Houston’s original airport, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum ($5) explores Houston and Southeast Texas’ role in aviation. The focus is mainly on civil aviation, including commercial flight. Expect to see uniforms for pilots and stewardesses, dinnerware, playing cards, and other airline memorabilia. The museum’s hangar has a small collection of business and commercial planes. Tip: After you’ve visited the museum, find a seat on the benches out back and watch aircraft take off from Hobby Airport. Or, pick a spot in the museum parking lot and watch for free. (Just let museum staff know what you are doing and how long you plan to be there.)

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5 Amazing Dogsledding Trips in the US

Facebook/Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures

For the ultimate winter adventure, take to the backwoods on a sled, driven by your very own team of Alaskan Huskies. Best suited for the physically active, these top five dogsledding trips guarantee thrills over frozen lakes, deeply wooded trails, and endless horizons of snow and sky. Read more

Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge is situated in the Ozark Mountains — Ridgedale, Missouri, to be precise. The area is a nature lover’s paradise, replete with swaths of dense forest, overlooking 43,000-acres of Table Rock Lake’s blue-green waters. It’s is billed as “a wilderness resort,” founded by Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops. It makes perfect sense that this would be a haven for the outdoor aficionados. We checked in at Big Cedar Lodge, and here’s what we loved most.  Read more

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