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Texas

Galveston 1

Keith Hajovsky

Galveston Island is a unique coastal destination: An historic Victorian-era downtown surrounded by beaches that offer classic seaside fun. Whether you’re on a day trip from Houston or stopping over to or from a cruise, here’s how to make the most of it.

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Bodysgallen Hall & Spa 2

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa

It’s not uncommon for hotels to have neatly manicured lawns and winding trails, but some hotel grounds are so grand that they’re essentially botanical gardens. Here, seven stunning estates that actually make you want to leave the room.

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July 4 fireworks - washington dc

pixabay.com

Don’t let holiday prices keep you from traveling on Fourth of July weekend, which is spanning July 3-6 this year. Believe it or not, we’ve found fantastic deals across the country, even in the big cities. Whether your passion is arts and culture or the beach, we’ve got a bargain for you, all hovering around $200 per night and complete with sparklers, fireworks, parades, outdoor-grilling, movies by the pool, and other festive events.

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steamboat springs pro rodeo series - Visit Colorado

Visit Colorado/Steamboat Pro Rodeo

You may not see cowboys and gunslingers walking the streets of these small American towns, but they embody the true spirit of the Old West. And they’re not all in Texas, either. In no particular order:

1. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The Yampa Valley, including Steamboat Springs, has a long history of rodeo and working ranches that you can still experience today. For an extended ranch stay, try Elk River Guest Ranch or Vista Verde Guest Ranch. Or, if you only have a few hours, move those “little doggies” along on a morning cattle drive at Saddleback Ranch.

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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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Thunderbird - Sized

Holiday World/Thunderbird

Along with April showers, May flowers, and non-bone-chilling temperatures, spring brings exciting new attractions to many amusement parks in the U.S. From a dizzying glow-in-the-dark funhouse roller coaster, to a beyond-vertical Batman, here are six new rides we’re looking forward to in 2015.

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Yellowstone National Park - stargazing - by National Park Service-Neal Herbert - 620

Remember when it seemed like you could reach up and touch the Milky Way, the ribbon of stars that make up our galaxy? Thanks to light pollution, it’s becoming harder and harder to see — unless you get yourself out to dark and remote locales. Here are seven stargazing sites, all recognized by the International Dark Sky Association for their inky-black nights, that offer stellar views of the heavens above.

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FortWorthStockyardsCattleDrive

With its irresistible cowboy culture, Fort Worth certainly lives up to its “Cowtown” moniker. But there’s a more sophisticated side to the city, too. This is most notably evident in the urban revitalization in the downtown area, which includes the recent addition of the Sundance Square entertainment district, and the opening up of chef-driven restaurants and chic wine bars and cafés all over town.

If you’ve only got a couple of days to explore Fort Worth, that’s just enough to get a sense of the city’s twin personalities, and without spending too much money either. Here’s how to get the best of both worlds.

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Christine Dayao Daytona Beach MOAS

New York. Paris. London. Those are some of the big cities that travelers hoping for some cultural enrichment flock to. But what if you’ve had your fill of The Metropolitan Museum of Art or have grown tired of The Louvre? Here, four cities that might surprise you with its delightfully unexpected art and culture scene.

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 SONY DSCIt’s easy to dismiss the charming 10,000-odd people town of Fredericksburg, Texas as a drive-by bit of German history — especially when the Virginian Civil War town often comes to mind when mentioning the name. Read more

4132910198_50b9d465b1_zThe best things about birdwatching? You can do it at almost any time of the year, it can be a relaxing break from a packed travel itinerary, and it’s often a fairly low-cost activity. With migratory birds on the move or already at the their winter habitats, now is the perfect time to grab a pair of binoculars (and field guide) and explore some of the nation’s best bird watching destinations. Here are some of our favorites…

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andrew

If Andrew W.K.’s hits “Party Hard” and “Party Party Party” are any indication, the rock star definitely knows how to have a good time. In true festive fashion, he recently served as Stoli Vodka’s Resident Professor of the Party, celebrating 35 years of nightlife at The Pyramid Club in Manhattan on October 28. During an exclusive interview, Andrew tipped his party hat to us by sharing his top 10 places to throw it down in America.

See below for Andrew’s top picks, and check out the ScenesbyStoli website to nominate your favorite bars and nightlife destinations if they didn’t make his list!

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Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant’s annual Karma Rewards Sale is back! This means the boutique hotel group is offering its lowest rates of the year — starting as low as $99 at some properties — along with double stay credit. To take advantage of the special rates, you’ll have to become a Karma Rewards member, but joining is free.

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We love Austin for its loud bars, its excellent and cheap food, and its amiable locals. And more, we love that the city has a specific look, that its neon signs, low craftsman-style houses, and distinctly throwback-y flavor could exist almost nowhere else. Here are six of our favorite places in Austin — all of which show different sides of this utterly original city.

1. Antebellum-Style Opulence
austin_ella2You probably think of Charleston or Savannah as the places for sprawling historic homes, but Austin has one that easily competes — and you can stay in it. Hotel Ella, which opened in 2013 in a Greek revival mansion, doesn’t feel stuffy or pretentious, either. The hotel’s interiors reflect a modern take on a traditional aesthetic. Think artfully distressed mirrors, tufted velvet in bright colors, and modern sculpture by the pool. In fact, our favorite spot on the property is the ultimate mix of old and new: a classic set of wrought-iron chairs, perfect for an outdoor cocktail, that sits under a tree hung with an enormous glass chandelier. Locals and out-of-towners alike flock here in high season for weddings, so book early if you’re staying April through September. Rooms average about $279 per night.

Saver tip: Stay before the end of the year. We found some midweek rooms in October, November, and December going for as low as $219 — a great price for a luxury property.

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ferris_wheel_Midway_sunset - arizona state fair - 620

It’s fair time! As we mourn the end of summer, the nation’s great state fairs give us something to look forward to in the fall. And we suggest getting out your calendars, because some of the best fairs are either under way right now or coming up soon. Here are the eight we feel deserve blue ribbons.

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