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Travel News Reports

Taste the bold, full-bodied future of American coffee
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide In our not-so-distant culinary past, Jell-O molds were the height of chic, olive oil was exotic, and coffee came from a can. As a gourmet nation, we've come a
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10Best: Southern tourist attractions worth the crowds
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide We've all been there. A place that's clogged with so many tourists that the first reaction is "get me outta here!" Be that as it may, there are a few tourist
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#Stressedpets: Inside Edition and 10Best want your vote!
A longtime travel journalist, Libby chose her beautiful city after a nationwide search for a new hometown. Greenville's amazing downtown, four mild seasons, varied terrain, friendly residents and countless nearby waterfalls
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Ken Burns shares secrets of Grand Canyon National Park
Ken Burns sat down with USA TODAY and shared some of the secrets of America's national parks. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan are the creators of the PBS documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," available via
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Great girlfriend getaways to the Caribbean 29 September 2014, 19.16 Travel
Great girlfriend getaways to the Caribbean
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide A diamond may be a girl's best friend but a women's-only getaway in the Caribbean is worth gold. Barbados Girls just wanna have fun at the Hilton Barbados
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Party on: The best cruise ships for nightlife 29 September 2014, 19.16 Travel
Party on: The best cruise ships for nightlife
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide For most vacationers, a cruise is all about sun, sand, sights and relaxation. But for those for whom the night is always young, many cruise ships also provide a
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St. Lucia is for lovers: What to do as a couple 20 September 2014, 19.53 Travel
St. Lucia is for lovers: What to do as a couple
(Photo: St. Lucia Tourism Board) There are only a few destinations in the world that are synonymous with romance, among them — Fiji in the South Pacific, Paris in Europe, Hawaii in the United States. In the Caribbean, the
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Where to party in Vegas during iHeartRadio 20 September 2014, 19.53 Travel
Where to party in Vegas during iHeartRadio
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The iHeartRadio Music Festival is rolling into Vegas this weekend. But what's a festival without some rockin' after-parties featuring high-profile hosts,
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Taste Wisconsin from beer to brats 20 September 2014, 19.53 Travel
Taste Wisconsin from beer to brats
Sharon McDonnell, Special for USA TODAY 8:03 a.m. EDT September 19, 2014 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide 2 CONNECT LINKEDINEMAILMORE It's not all cheese and beer in "America's Dairyland," even
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10Best: Amazing American wildlife watching 20 September 2014, 19.53 Travel
10Best: Amazing American wildlife watching
Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY 7:55 a.m. EDT September 19, 2014 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Humpback whales are often seen near the Farallon Islands, Calif., about 30 miles west of
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Fantasy camps: Get a taste of a different life 20 September 2014, 19.53 Travel
Fantasy camps: Get a taste of a different life
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean that camps aren't still going strong – for adults, anyway. Throughout the USA, camps are available to make just
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Vacationships: These couples only meet up on the road
In a more mobile world, couples are taking long-distance relationships to another level.(Photo: Getty Images) 468 CONNECT 13 LINKEDIN EMAILMORE For their first date, Emily Harrington and Adrian Ballinger went rock-climbing
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2014 wine harvest festival guide 15 September 2014, 21.21 Travel
2014 wine harvest festival guide
As major wine regions around the country prepare for harvest season, the celebrations are starting as soon as this weekend. If you live or travel near these popular wineries, plan to participate with this breakdown of harvest
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10Best: Conspiracies and legends around the USA 15 September 2014, 21.21 Travel
10Best: Conspiracies and legends around the USA
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you." ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22 The items on this varied list may not all warrant heightened
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Photo tour: The stunning SLS Las Vegas 15 September 2014, 21.21 Travel
Photo tour: The stunning SLS Las Vegas
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Experience Las Vegas is featuring in-depth photo tours of the city's world-famous hotels and casino resorts this year. We feature a different Vegas property
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Ken Burns shares secrets of Arches National Park 15 September 2014, 21.21 Travel
Ken Burns shares secrets of Arches National Park
Ken Burns shares secrets of Arches National Park 26Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestKen Burns shares secrets of Arches National ParkThe
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When gross things happen to good passengers 15 September 2014, 21.21 Travel
When gross things happen to good passengers
Christopher Elliott , Special for USA TODAY 12:50 p.m. EDT September 14, 2014 You board a plane and find your seat stained with bodily fluids. Now what?(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto) 2942 CONNECT 41 LINKEDIN
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Photo tour: The most beautiful places in Connecticut
The Most Beautiful Places in America 1357252Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestPhoto tour: The most beautiful places in ConnecticutA
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Webcam Wednesday: Go for a swim with beluga whales 10 September 2014, 18.52 Travel
Webcam Wednesday: Go for a swim with beluga whales
Webcam Wednesday: Go for a swim with beluga whales 357Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestWebcam Wednesday: Go for a swim with beluga
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10Best: Beautiful and historic Southern resorts 10 September 2014, 18.52 Travel
10Best: Beautiful and historic Southern resorts
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The South offers some of the nation's most famous resorts, several of which enjoy international name recognition. Even the most iconic historic properties are
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New York City's must-see specialty food stores 10 September 2014, 18.52 Travel
New York City's must-see specialty food stores
Whoever said, "You get what you pay for" never set foot in New York. In the city where East Village studios rent for $3,000/month, and baseball stadium beers run upwards of $10, cost savings are relative.As a result, Gothamites
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Costa Rica's top eco-destination hotspots 10 September 2014, 18.52 Travel
Costa Rica's top eco-destination hotspots
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Costa Rica knows which side its bread is buttered on. People don't visit for the culture, cuisine or nightlife; they come for the nature. The country has
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Adorable hotels on America's Main Streets 10 September 2014, 18.52 Travel
Adorable hotels on America's Main Streets
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide With everything that's going on in the world today, it's nice to occasionally be reminded that simple things do exist -- and they're what counts, right? So
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Video: Spa chillin' on Royal Caribbean's Navigator 10 September 2014, 18.52 Travel
Video: Spa chillin' on Royal Caribbean's Navigator
Video: Spa chillin' on Royal Caribbean's Navigator 1Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestVideo: Spa chillin' on Royal Caribbean's NavigatorThe
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Video tour: The fun of Royal Caribbean's Navigator 06 September 2014, 20.29 Travel
Video tour: The fun of Royal Caribbean's Navigator
Video tour: The fun of Royal Caribbean's Navigator 1321Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestVideo tour: The fun of Royal Caribbean's
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Cozumel's best places for a honeymoon 06 September 2014, 20.29 Travel
Cozumel's best places for a honeymoon
(Photo: Nathan Gutshall-Kresge, Getty Images/iStockphoto) Cozumel combines the best of two worlds for honeymooners: Mexican culture suffused with a captivating Caribbean ambience. Mexico's largest island also has a range of
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Otherworldly views: Explore Zion National Park 06 September 2014, 20.29 Travel
Otherworldly views: Explore Zion National Park
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Spanning across Southwestern Utah, Zion National Park encompasses over 229 miles of canyon country. Utah's first National Park, this oasis amid the high plateau
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Colorado's famous Broadmoor takes luxury to new heights
Stormy skies hang over the main lodge of the Broadmoor's Cloud Camp. The all-inclusive camp is one of three new retreats that make up the Broadmoor's new "Wilderness Experience."(Photo: MARK REIS Colorado Springs Gazette) 2
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Photo tour: The most beautiful places in Oklahoma 06 September 2014, 20.29 Travel
Photo tour: The most beautiful places in Oklahoma
The Most Beautiful Places in America 1353852Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestPhoto tour: The most beautiful places in OklahomaA
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An insider's guide to Denver 06 September 2014, 20.29 Travel
An insider's guide to Denver
provided by Homewood Suites by Hilton Traveling? You Can Keep Your Daily Routine At Homewood Suites Home isn't just part of our name, it's in everything we do. From a free hot breakfast every morning, to complimentary dinner
Read More 19 Hits 0 Ratings
Photo tour: The most beautiful places in North Dakota
The Most Beautiful Places in America 1333452Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestPhoto tour: The most beautiful places in North DakotaA
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Whatever happened to the heart-shaped tub? 22 August 2014, 19.29 Travel
Whatever happened to the heart-shaped tub?
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide As the first resort to install lipstick-red, heart-shaped tubs in its couples-only digs, Cove Haven created an image indelibly linked to the Poconos.(Photo:
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Cancun's top honeymoon resorts 22 August 2014, 19.29 Travel
Cancun's top honeymoon resorts
(Photo: javarman3, Getty Images/iStockphoto) Cancun is a perfect choice for honeymooners looking for action and distraction in a beautiful, beachside setting. Situated on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula in northern Quintana Roo
Read More 43 Hits 0 Ratings
Cuisine with a zing: Spiked dishes and desserts
If you've noticed that entrees and desserts have been tasting a little more "spirited" lately, there's probably a very good reason. More U.S. chefs are taking some creative liberties with libations by adding a dash of
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Before summer ends: Go backstage at Universal Hollywood
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Unlike most other similar parks, Universal Studios Hollywood is an honest-to-goodness, working movie studio. (Even its upstart sister park in Florida is really
Read More 42 Hits 0 Ratings
10Best: Stone-cold ice cream shops 22 August 2014, 19.29 Travel
10Best: Stone-cold ice cream shops
Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY 7:41 a.m. EDT August 22, 2014 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Sweet Republic in Scottsdale, Ariz., offers its take on a classic combination with the
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Believe your eyes: America's most stunning views
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide America is a big country full of bigger views, from sea to shining sea. From stunning natural formations to architectural wonders, these ten sights rise above
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Ken Burns shares secrets of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Ken Burns shares secrets of Great Smoky Mountains National Park 1Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestKen Burns shares secrets of Great Smoky
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Graceland: Tour Elvis' home like a king 19 August 2014, 00.24 Travel
Graceland: Tour Elvis' home like a king
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide A singer, actor, and heartthrob known for his sensual dance moves, Elvis Presley is an icon in American culture. He starred in 31 feature films and once held
Read More 36 Hits 0 Ratings
The pros, cons of visiting Japan by cruise ship
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide A Maiko dance at a te ahouse in Kyoto, Japan.(Photo: Koichi Kamoshida, Getty Images) Tags Princess Cruises Diamond Princess 2 CONNECT
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Cool reasons to visit Curacao 19 August 2014, 00.24 Travel
Cool reasons to visit Curacao
(Photo: Kjersti Joergensen, Getty Images/iStockphoto) Affectionately dubbed "Holland of the Tropics," Curacao is a melting pot on bold display with more than 100 nationalities calling the cosmopolitan island home. Forty- four
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The travel insurance in your wallet you didn't know you had
George Hobica, Airfarewatchdog.com 7:03 a.m. EDT August 19, 2014 Some credit cards have contracts with extensive travel insurance. But not all do, and the benefits vary widely between issuers.(Photo: Getty
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Summer relaxation: Put North Carolina on your mind
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide In a day's drive across North Carolina, you can go from mountaintop views to oceanside real estate. Here's how to make sense of the diverse and dynamic outdoor
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Best summer deals in the Caribbean 17 August 2014, 01.18 Travel
Best summer deals in the Caribbean
(Photo: Anacaona) Better known for cold weather lures than hot weather tours, summer in the Caribbean is not only affordable but it's also the best way to audition on island before booking a more expensive winter getaway.
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Retro/vintage hotels: What's old is new again 17 August 2014, 01.18 Travel
Retro/vintage hotels: What's old is new again
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Retro and vintage hotel rooms are making a name for themselves in cities across the nation. Catchy décor and design elements from eras past offer guests a
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Stop, drop and pop it: 8 places to propose on Kauai
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide If a single word conjures images of a postcard-perfect destination, that word is Hawaii. The islands, blissfully adrift in the Pacific Ocean and far removed
Read More 22 Hits 0 Ratings
An insider's guide to Atlanta 15 August 2014, 18.25 Travel
An insider's guide to Atlanta
provided by Homewood Suites by Hilton Traveling? You Can Keep Your Daily Routine At Homewood Suites Home isn't just part of our name, it's in everything we do. From a free hot breakfast every morning, to complimentary dinner
Read More 25 Hits 0 Ratings
Photo tour: The most beautiful places in New Mexico
The Most Beautiful Places in America 1315451Share This Story!Let friends in your social network know what you are reading aboutFacebookEmailGoogle+LinkedInPinterestPhoto tour: The most beautiful places in New MexicoA
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Kentucky: Horses, bourbon and natural beauty 15 August 2014, 18.25 Travel
Kentucky: Horses, bourbon and natural beauty
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The "Bluegrass State," so named for the iconic grass that proliferates on its fertile soil, is synonymous with horses and horse racing. Its two major cities –
Read More 31 Hits 0 Ratings
Cruises offer an easier, cheaper way to see Japan
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide A musician plays traditional Japanese songs at a welcome party at the start of a cruise around Japan.(Photo: Gene Sloan, USA TODAY) 2 CONNECT
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The 50 longest airline routes from the U.S. and Canada
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Qantas' Boeing 747 jets fly some of the longest flights to depart the United States.(Photo: Qantas Airways) Tags 626 CONNECT 75 LINKEDIN EMAILMORE What are
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Highway rest stops are revving up services, quality
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The newly renovated Maryland House Travel Plaza north of Baltimore.(Photo: Handout) 80 CONNECT 14 LINKEDIN EMAILMORE The weary highway traveler in Ohio can
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10 must-do activities onboard the Regal Princess
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Princess Cruises' newest ship, the 3,560-passenger Regal Princess, modernizes the traditional Princess Cruises experience in beautiful surrounds. As on year-old
Read More 65 Hits 0 Ratings
Diagon Alley: Are these the 'Fantastic Beasts' designs?
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The original Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure, which opened in 2010, brought J. K. Rowling's books and the films they
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The Magnolia State: The beauty of Mississippi
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Offering much more than the namesake river that forms its western border, Mississippi is a must-visit for anyone interested in sampling a unique slice of
Read More 75 Hits 0 Ratings
Video captures near-miss of widebody jets in Spain
This screenshot from YouTube shows what appears to be a near-miss in Barcelona. The footage was captured by an amateur aviation enthusiast.(Photo: YouTube.com) 10 CONNECT LINKEDIN EMAILMORE An apparent near-miss at
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Your Take: I love my boat! 06 July 2014, 22.30 Travel
Your Take: I love my boat!
Add Videos or PhotosBe first to contribute Sign in now to share your story. Sign in with FacebookSign in with Google+ Be first to contribute Add More Videos or Photos You've contributed successfully to: You've successfully
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10Best: Up-and-coming neighborhoods around the USA
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Debates about gentrification notwithstanding, watching a blighted area get a new lease on life can be awfully heartening. We've listed a few of the most
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See the Caribbean's most amazing waterfalls 29 June 2014, 15.19 Travel
See the Caribbean's most amazing waterfalls
From murmuring rivulets sliding across rocky terraces to crashing cataracts that plunge from the heights into deep, rock-lined pools below, the Caribbean has a waterfall to satisfy every appetite. La Mina Falls | Puerto
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Vintage Vegas: Where to experience the Rat Pack
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Looking for luck to be a lady on your next Vegas trip? We're taking a walk down memory lane, looking for the best places to find remnants of the group that made
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Boeing's 1,500th 747: 'Not your mother's jumbo jet'
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The 1,500th Boeing 747 nears completion at Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on June 17, 2014.(Photo: Mike Kane for USA TODAY) 50 CONNECT 8 LINKEDIN
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Adrenaline rush: Aruba's boldest adventures 27 June 2014, 16.43 Travel
Adrenaline rush: Aruba's boldest adventures
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide The sugar-white sand beaches along Aruba's west coast are the stuff of postcard-perfect memories: watching the sunset on endless Palm Beach is the
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10 best bucket-list cities for foodies 27 June 2014, 16.43 Travel
10 best bucket-list cities for foodies
Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY 8:01 a.m. EDT June 27, 2014 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide New Orleans' Galatoire's restaurant has delighted diners for more than a century.(Photo:
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First look: A Carnival ship gets a major makeover
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide Originally built in 2007, the Carnival Freedom is one of Carnival's largest ships at 110,000 tons.(Photo: Andy Newman, Carnival Cruise Lines) Tags Carnival
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Verruckt: Exclusive ride on world's tallest slide
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Photo tour: The most beautiful places in Maine
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Sun screenings: Famous film locations in the Caribbean
Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last SlideNext Slide A decade before filmmakers migrated to Hollywood, they'd already figured out that the Caribbean was a nice place to get away from the dreary winter and gray
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Taste the bold, full-bodied future of American coffee PDF Print E-mail

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In our not-so-distant culinary past, Jell-O molds were the height of chic, olive oil was exotic, and coffee came from a can. As a gourmet nation, we've come a long way, baby. Today, on National Coffee Day, we explore the evolution of American coffee culture and where you can taste the future, one mug at a time.

Ground start

In post-WWII America, coffee was fuel. Java drinkers relied on instant gratification piloted by brands like Folgers and Maxwell House (and waiters named Jean-Luc). Second-wave caffeine culture, heralded by the arrival of at-home drip coffee makers and percolators, advanced with the 1971 launch of a "European-style" Seattle café called Starbucks.

Starting in the late 1990s, and through today, we have been sipping, sourcing and stirring coffee's third wave. Single-origin beans, fair trade certification, local roasting plants and bearded guys with deeply emotional opinions about Chemex filtration characterize the movement.

Ride the wave

Thanks to independent upstarts like Intelligentsia and Stumptown, which brought sustainability and small-batch roasting out of the sidelines, third-wave coffee connoisseurs are becoming increasingly mainstream.

"Coffee is getting integrated into American food culture as a whole," says John Moore, CEO of recently launched New York City roaster Nobletree, and veteran of trailblazing labels Counter Culture and Dallis Brothers.

"Twenty years ago, a chef like Paul Liebrandt wouldn't have put much thought into his restaurant coffee program at The Elm," Moore continues. "And I doubt the Institute of Culinary Education [where Moore is a guest lecturer] would have had its students spend two or three hours of class time talking about and tasting coffee."

The man has a point. Seemingly snobbish, yet totally legit tasting terms like "

"Cities and neighborhoods that didn't used to have anything but a big-box coffee experience are getting much better coffee," notes Stumptown vice president Matt Lounsbury. Portland, Ore.-based Stumptown has 10 brick-and-mortar locations, and sells its meticulously sourced bean to partners like Thinking Cup in Boston and Brooklyn's Hungry Ghost cafes.

"But it goes beyond that," Lounsbury says. "Now, coffee programs are coming to the workplace and to hotels and restaurants across the nation."

The proof is in the percolation. Chicago's independent Intelligentsia label operates a café in the High Line Hotel in New York, and recently launched a counter within a Herald Square Urban Outfitters. A few blocks over, a new Hyatt will pour Manhattan microroaster Stone Street Coffee, and the swish Andaz 5th Avenue serves Brooklyn-brewed Café Grumpy. San Francisco's Blue Bottle Coffee powers the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe. Stumptown has a partnership with Ace Hotels in four American cities, and is currently in conversations to install kegs of its cold brew coffee in Google's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters.

"Cold brew on draft is the new water cooler," Lounsbury laughs. But he's not really joking.

VIDEO: We try coffee from a keg in Austin

Hit the road, Joe

The biggest perk of the normalization of craft coffee is it brings better brews to American cities beyond Pacific Northwestern hubs like Seattle and Portland. (Here's looking at you, Mountain View, Calif.)

In the past two years, San Diegans welcomed independent roasters like Coffee & Tea Collective, a pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar café in North Park, plus the rapidly expanding Dark Horse and roving Roast Coach. La Jolla-based Bird Rock launched a pour-over bar in the Padres' Petco Park last summer, and has two additional locations under construction in San Diego.

Coloradans stay caffeinated courtesy of Boulder's Conscious Coffee, a craft micro-roastery sold in 18 stores statewide and brewed at 15 coffee bars in the region. Dazbog, a largely organic label founded in Denver in 1996, has 25 franchises across the state, and family-owned Novo Coffee runs a roastery and two cafes in Denver. Boulder's Allegro, a single-origin, small-batch pioneer since 1985, was acquired by Whole Foods in 1997. Now, there are Allegro Coffee Bars in 320 Whole Foods Markets nationwide.

Michigan's Madcap Coffee has a café and roaster in Grand Rapids, a training center in Washington D.C., and more than 60 restaurant and retail partners nationwide.

The nation's second-largest coffee chain, Caribou, is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Twin Cities are also home to small-batch roaster Bull Run, which opened its second location in Kingfield this summer. Four-year-old Dogwood operates two coffee bars in Minneapolis and supplies beans to cafes throughout the Midwest.

Greater San Francisco's thriving coffee scene includes seven Blue Bottle locations, four Ritual Coffee Roasters, three Fourbarrel cafes (including the newly opened Mill, a collaboration with Josey Baker Bread), and a whopping 17 spots from Bay Area drip specialist Philz, which recently debuted in San Mateo and has a café on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif.

Despite its superlative restaurant scene, New York was slow to join the craft coffee movement. (Blame Bloomberg. Or Giuliani. Or maybe De Blasio?) Now, the city's embarrassment of rich blends includes Brooklyn-based Café Grumpy, which has four locations in two boroughs, and Greenpoint's Budin. The latter imports rare beans from Norway's Tim Wendelboe, and serves a controversial $10 latte. Manhattan's Ninth Street Espresso has three downtown locations, and debuted in Midtown's Lombardy Hotel last year. Independent labels like Queens' Sweetleaf roast in small batches at the Pulley Collective, a massive facility that opened in Red Hook in 2013. Joe, another Pulley Collective roaster, has eight Manhattan cafes and a pro shop/education facility in Chelsea.

Last year, Joe debuted two more coffee shops in Philadelphia, also known as the birthplace of single-origin champions La Colombe. Your move, City of Brotherly Love.

SEE MORE: Explore coffee cultures around the world

Plus, virtually visit Manhattan's first seed-to-cup coffeehouse, Brazilia Cafe:

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10Best: Southern tourist attractions worth the crowds PDF Print E-mail

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We've all been there. A place that's clogged with so many tourists that the first reaction is "get me outta here!" Be that as it may, there are a few tourist attractions in the South that both bear and wear their title well – and definitely merit a visit. Muster the courage, block out the noise, and you'll be rewarded with an enlightened experience of the South. Click through the photo gallery above for our picks, from 10 to one!

RELATED: Best of the South

RELATED: Southern literary destinations

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#Stressedpets: Inside Edition and 10Best want your vote! PDF Print E-mail

A longtime travel journalist, Libby chose her beautiful city after a nationwide search for a new hometown. Greenville's amazing downtown, four mild seasons, varied terrain, friendly residents and countless nearby waterfalls made it a winner.

Libby previously spent 20 years in Florida, what she calls “the only place in the world where you drive north to reach the South.”

An avid college football fan, Libby has deep ties to the University of Oklahoma but graduated from rival Texas. She’s lived in Austin, Boston, Nashville, San Francisco and Captiva Island, Florida, including 4 happy years on a houseboat.

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Ken Burns shares secrets of Grand Canyon National Park PDF Print E-mail

Ken Burns sat down with USA TODAY and shared some of the secrets of America's national parks. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan are the creators of the PBS documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," available via ShopPBS.org.

USA TODAY 10:16 a.m. EDT September 29, 2014

With more than 4 million visitors a year, the park's services fill up quickly. Be sure and make reservations for everything.(Photo: National Park Service)

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Even at a place as famous as the Grand Canyon, there are still secrets to discover. The biggest one comes down to the old real estate adage, "location, location, location."

Most viewers take in the Grand Canyon from the South Rim. But the view is equally spectacular - and less crowded - from the north.

Either way, filmmaker Ken Burns says in the video above, "I think you'd have to be a pretty jaded human being" to view the Grand Canyon "and not go 'Oh my God'."

Once you've checked out the view from above, head below - to the Colorado River for an 11-day boat trip through the canyon.

GRAND CANYON PARK GUIDE: What to do, where to stay and more

Or, you may shun the crowds all together.

"One of the [other secrets of the Grand Canyon] is to just go off on another trail, and not see another human being for hours and hours," Burns says.

As co-creator of the PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Ken Burns and his team spent months filming in national parks across the United States.

Burns sat down with USA TODAY for a special 10-part series, "Secrets of the National Parks."

PREVIOUSLY IN THIS SERIES: Redwood and Sequoia | Arches | Volcanoes | Shenandoah | Glacier | Great Smoky Mountains | Rocky Mountain | Yosemite | Yellowstone

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Great girlfriend getaways to the Caribbean PDF Print E-mail

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A diamond may be a girl's best friend but a women's-only getaway in the Caribbean is worth gold.

Barbados

Girls just wanna have fun at the Hilton Barbados starting with a mani, pedi and mimosa-fueled 'Girlfriends Retreat' in the Prime Minister's uber-spacious suite. When the sun sets, dining with the Chef at the 'Fancy Dress Up' dinner at the Grille Restaurant is perfect for those who packed heels while 'Tea Party by the Pool 'is flip-flop friendly for the whole gang. More Bajan bonding awaits with happy-hour jazz trios, outdoor massages, shopping in Bridgetown and rooms with rates that won't break the bank. www.hiltonbarbadosresort.com

Curacao

Nothing makes gal pals happier than a hip lobby bar, funky faux-beach with real sand, casino, swishy spa and shopping a short stroll away. In the pretty capital city of Willemstad, Renaissance Curacao is wooing the girls with a 'Spa Getaway' that includes plenty of pampering at the Babor Beauty Spa. (Note to BFF's: two besties can easily share one room). http://www.marriott.com

A short drive from the resort, a pedicure at Amazonia is not for the squeamish (or ticklish) as tiny 'doctor fish' on an exfoliating mission nibble away at your feet. The vibrations as the fish ready your feet for sandal season will make the ticklish howl with laughter. Pedicures last from 5 minutes to 20 and will cost US$1 dollar a minute. www.amazoniacuracao.com

St. Lucia

It may not be the fast track to fabulous but you'll have fun trying with a soak in the Diamond Mineral Baths where Napoleon Bonaparte's wife Josephine reportedly spent her days. The baths are one stop in on the Island Routes' "Soufriere Fountain of Youth" tour, but the day only gets better with a sail past the awesome Pitons and Anse La Raye, where the fish fry is held on weekend nights. The seven-hour outing takes the ladies on a rainforest walk, for lunch at The Old Mill with the only working water mill in the Caribbean, a dip in Marigot Bay and shopping in Castries. For the groovy girls in the crowd, St. Kitts Music Festival heats up the island from June 26 to June 28 with top-shelf performers like Trini soca superstar Machel Montana and Puerto Rican merengue king Elvis Crespo. www.stkittsmusicfestival.net

Grenada

For gaggles of pals who won the lottery or want to vacation like they did, Calivigny is the priciest private isle in the Caribbean with nightly rates (yes, per night) starting at USD$30,000 (that's four zeroes). Surrounded by six beaches, the island rents to just one group at a time with options that include the 10-suite Beach House that sleeps 20 for US$52,000 per night; Overhang Residence at US$42,000, per night for up to 18; and three over-the-top Beach Bungalows that fit 12 and can be yours for US$30,000 per night. A quick hop from Grenada either via boat or small plane, extras are outrageous like a grand piano, gigantic moveable movie screen and for serious celebrating — a fireworks display just for the girls. www.calivigny-Island.com

Aruba

Open late for night owls. Check. Baccarat tables for high-rollers. Check. Fruity Aruba Ariba cocktails. Check. Cigars to celebrate a lucky roll of the dice. Check. A clanging whirlwind of slot machines, big-wager games, roulette wheels and poker machines, the casino at the Hyatt Regency Aruba on Palm Beach is party-central. Chic on the beach, there's massages at the new ZoiA Spa, slew of water sports and people-watching at the Alfresco Bar. http://aruba.hyatt.com

Dominican Republic

There's a lot of shaking, rattling and rolling going on at Eden Roc at Cap Cana; Relais & Chateaux's first resort in the Dominican Republic. Suave instructors teach the ladies to dance the merengue and shake their maracas while gourmands pick up pointers in 'Olive Oil and Vinegar' classes with Executive Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini, who shows off his personal collection that he curates in the swanky Mediterranean restaurant. www.edenroccapcana.com/

Jamaica

Top of the hit parade for girlfriend getaways (and every other kind of getaway); Jamaica's Jerk Trail is a spicy pilgrimage that stretches from Negril to Port Antonio. Self-guided, the culinary trek stops at roadside stands and neighborhood restaurants like the wildly popular Scotchie's near the airport in Montego Bay, Bourbon Beach in Negril, Ultimate Jerk in Discovery Bay and Blueberry Hill near Port Antonio where the addictive seasoning that combines pimento berries, thyme, lime juice, and piquant scotch bonnet peppers was born. www.jamaicajerktrail.com. For an après-jerk chill-out, cocoon in a "Firm & Glow" anti-aging body wrap at the Red Lane at Sandals Royal Plantation; the all-butler resort with Jamaica's only champagne and caviar bar. www.sandals.com

The Bahamas

For those who like their daily greens, it's a grand affair at Grand Isle on Emerald Bay in Great Exuma. The "Ultimate Tee Time at Ocean's Edge" is a three-night stay that includes play at the 18-hole Emerald Reef Golf Course, credits at Sea Star Spa (we recommend the full-body coconut rub and scrub) and dining poolside at the Palapa Grill. www.grandisleresort.com

Turks & Caicos Islands

Big girls won't cry during the "BFF Girls Getaway" from October 25-29 at Beaches Turks & Caicos. The all-inclusive is rolling out the red carpet with catamaran cruises, seaside yoga classes, massages, discounts in the gift shop, cocktails galore, hair-styling classes and — for the young-at-heart — pajama parties on the beach. www.beaches.com/bff

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Party on: The best cruise ships for nightlife PDF Print E-mail

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For most vacationers, a cruise is all about sun, sand, sights and relaxation. But for those for whom the night is always young, many cruise ships also provide a big nighttime party scene.

Discos operate into the wee hours, slot machines clang in the casino, live musicians and DJs provide a beat – whether you want it mellow or pulsating. You can catch a show, laugh along to comedians or snuggle under a blanket outdoors for the cruise ship equivalent of a drive-in movie.

Here are the top cruise ships for nightlife.

Royal Caribbean: The line's ships all provide a non-stop nighttime scene, but the action is on steroids on the world's largest ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Watch a real Broadway show (on select ships) or head to the comedy club for laughs or the karaoke bar to show your skills. Try your luck at the Vegas-style Casino Royale or dance the night away with salsa at Boleros or in a multi-level disco, where celebrity scratch DJs host dance parties. The ships collectively also have ice skating shows, high-diving shows and nighttime parades featuring DreamWorks characters. On Quantum of the Seas, debuting in November, robots join the scene — as both performers and bartenders.

Ready to join the party? Talk to a travel agent for free, today!

Carnival Cruise Lines: The idea is something for everyone (except maybe people who like things quiet). Live musical acts are everywhere, clubs and bars in clusters so you can wander easily from one to another. The casinos have a glitzy decor (including a Hanging Gardens of Babylon theme on Carnival Freedom). Discos feature scratch-n-spin masters trained by DJ IRIE, official DJ for the Miami Heat. Funnyman George Lopez has a hand in choosing talent for the popular Punchliner Comedy Club, with multiple shows each night.

Celebrity Cruises: The nighttime scene on the line's stylish ships is being beefed up with new parties and the addition of Sin City, combining comedy and burlesque (on select ships). The non-smoking Fortunes Casino offers a good selection of table play and slots. Elsewhere, acrobats appear out of nowhere, including in atriums, and there are nightly shows in the main theater. The disco scene includes, on Solstice-class ships, opportunity to swing in a hanging bubble chair when you're not out on the dance floor.

Norwegian Cruise Line: With the best cruise ship casinos, according to Casino Player magazine, Norwegian also delights the nighttime crowd with some of the best parties at sea – including the popular White Hot Party. A big variety of clubs and bars include the sexy, outdoor Spice H20 and the cool Bliss Ultra Lounge, complete with bowling lanes on some ships. There are venues for comedy and jazz and blues, and the newest ships have the best singalong piano act at sea, "Howl at the Moon." You'll also find Broadway shows or musical reviews and such fun absurdities as Svedka Ice Bars (on select ships).

GO VIP: Dance all night in the best cruise ship discos

Princess Cruises: This is the line that invented Movies Under the Stars, shown outdoors on giant screens (now a feature on a lot of ships). On Royal Princess and Regal Princess, additional outdoor fun takes place around the main pool, equipped with fountains for nighttime water and light shows. A new, South Beach-style Night Sky Lounge is debuting this fall – it's outdoors at the Retreat Pool on Regal in the Caribbean. The casinos offer an array of slots and tables, and production shows, comedians, nighttime game shows, discos and live music keep the entertainment scene hopping.

Cunard:Yes there are shows in the wonderful Royal Court Theatre, comedians, live musicians and classy Monte Carlo-style casinos that see plenty of action. But the real nighttime scene involves dancing. Don't miss the real themed balls, where you can trip the light fantastic on the dance floor or just listen to the big band. For the late-night crowd, head from the ball to the disco – on Queen Mary 2 the surprisingly hip, two-level G32.

Crystal: Under the chandeliers of the sophisticated Crystal Casino on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, gamblers will find plenty of amusements. The flow is easy from there to the disco or a bar for a nightcap. The nighttime scene also includes ballroom-style dancing, production shows and entertainment provided by comedians, magicians and musicians. There's a karaoke scene on the luxury line too.

Disney: Disney ships have a surprisingly lively nighttime scene for adults. There are no casinos, but there are adults-only nighttime districts with a variety of clubs and bars. Discos are popular hangout spots and carefully themed – such as the London-inspired The Tube on Disney Fantasy. Other clubs feature blues singers, piano players and late-night comedy acts and, thanks to Disney's ESPN connection, sports fans will find live broadcasts at the popular O'Gills Irish pub/sports bars.

Costa:One word: Toga. The Italian line does toga parties and they are a blast (the crew tells you how to properly tie your sheet). Costa ships also have lively casinos and the kind of late-night disco scene you'd expect from an Italian line – the party doesn't get started until midnight. Entertainment is geared towards a multi-national crowd and includes live music. On the new Costa Delioza, the "ship of pleasure," which debuts in November, a new feature is a Country Rock Club.

ADULTS ONLY: Kid-free zones on cruise ships

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St. Lucia is for lovers: What to do as a couple PDF Print E-mail

(Photo: St. Lucia Tourism Board)

There are only a few destinations in the world that are synonymous with romance, among them — Fiji in the South Pacific, Paris in Europe, Hawaii in the United States. In the Caribbean, the mantle of romance belongs to St. Lucia. The island destination has the dramatic scenery, sophisticated resorts and couple-friendly attractions lovers crave. Whether going to St. Lucia for a romantic getaway or a full-fledged honeymoon, St. Lucia delivers.

The island's charms include ease of access, with plenty of convenient flights from the USA; English-speaking locals, making it easy to communicate and strike up new friendships; and a compact geography, which encourages couples to rent a vehicle and explore St. Lucia on their own.

St. Lucia's iconic twin Petit and Gros Pitons — designated a World Heritage Site — are two volcanic mountains on the island's southwest coast. While some couples will be content to sit on their verandah with a cocktail and watch from afar as the Pitons reflect a glorious sunset, other couples will want to get a closer look. They'll have the option of taking a hike up Gros Piton, which soars 2,600 feet. The ascent to the top and back down takes about four hours of climbing over rocky terrain. The view is stunning from the summit and is sure to be a real bonding experience for lovers putting in the effort.

There are a number of ultra-romantic resorts in Soufriere on the south coast of the island, offering rooms and villas with superb views. Chief among these are Jade Mountain, Anse Chastanet, Ladera, and Fond Doux Resort & Plantation. While these properties tend to be on the pricey side, they're worth every penny, and will deliver an unforgettable lodging experience.

Chocolate has long been paired with romance, and lovers on holiday can choose to stay at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat. The boutique hotel has only 14 eco-chic cottages tucked away in a lush rainforest setting with views of the Pitons. This is an actual working chocolate plantation, and the cacao beans are grown on the adjoining Rabot estate. Chocolate aficionados will enjoy an immersive experience, with chocolate appearing on the menu, in cocktails and even in spa treatments. There's also a three-hour tour called Tree to Bar Experience, which claims to make guests into instant chocolatiers. They'll see how chocolate is grown and then make their own chocolate bars. Guests at Boucan Hotel Chocolat can also feel good about the social aspects of the plantation, since the enterprise has stimulated the local economy of independent cacao growers.

Soufriere's Volcano and Sulphur Springs is one of St. Lucia's must see sights. Often described as the world's only drive-in volcano (don't worry, it's dormant) Soufriere can be somewhat under-whelming at first glance, offering not much more than steaming sulfur springs. The fun comes when lovers dig into the sulfurous mud and smear it on each other. After deriving the beneficial aspects from the fine gray mud, which is said to improve the skin, lovers can then head over to Diamond Waterfall, which cascades from a height of 50 feet. Diamond Waterfall was a key player in one of the scenes for the hit film Romancing the Stone, starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. While it's not permissible to swim at the actual waterfall, there are several pools where lovers can take a dip and enjoy rinsing the mud off each other. There's also the adjacent Diamond Botanical Gardens, which are perfect for an afternoon stroll after cavorting in the falls.

MORE: See the Caribbean's most amazing waterfalls
DON'T MISS: The 5 coolest things to do in St. Lucia

St. Lucia has a number of other waterfalls that make a perfect centerpiece for a day's hike. Toraille Waterfall has a drop of 50 feet. Here a couple can swim underneath the waterfall and get the full effect of the pummeling torrent of water. This won't be a secluded experience, since the falls are a hit with both locals and visitors. The upside to the popularity is the presence of a changing room and picnic tables.

Those looking for a more private experience can head over to the east coast of the island, to the town of Dennery. Here they'll find the much less-visited Sault Falls, one of the biggest on the island, with water hurtling 55 feet into a beautiful pool.

Thrill-seekers who have ventured all the way to Dennery and Sault Falls can keep the adrenaline flowing with a zipline adventure at Treetop Adventure Park. The ziplines take riders 80 to 400 feet along lines high above the rainforest canopy.

A more peaceful tour among the tree-tops can be had in Babonneau aboard the tram ride at Rain Forest Aerial Trams. The hour-long ride is accompanied by a guide who points out interesting facts about the island's biodiversity — all while lovers take in awesome views high above the lush landscape.

One of the most romantic ways to enjoy the island is from the deck of a catamaran and there are numerous operators offering daily sailings. Many of these combine a half-day sail with a half-day land tour of Soufriere. For the ultimate in romance, couples should opt for a sunset sailing, when the sky more often than not lights up in a Technicolor display as the sun dips into the sea. These evening sailings – depending on the operator – can combine an elegant meal with champagne and soca – St. Lucia's signature music.

MORE: Get some sun on St. Lucia's best beaches
ST. LUCIA: Picture-postcard island images

While all-inclusive resorts might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a romantic holiday, second thoughts are met and conquered by Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, an all-inclusive resort in the northern part of the island. The resort has a prime location on a peninsula linking the mainland to Pigeon Island, a hill offering hikes leading to splendid sea views. Sandals Grande has lots of perks and amenities catering to lovers, including the Grande Rondoval Butler Suites with Private Pool Sanctuary, which have their own private pools right outside the door.

In the northern half of St. Lucia, couples have a variety of diversions, including the nightclub scene at Rodney Bay; the sprawl of local color in the capital city of Castries, especially the local produce market; and the street fair ambience of the Gros Islet Friday Night Fish Fry, which brims over with grilled island seafood, potent rum punch, hot music and lots of dancing in the street.

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Where to party in Vegas during iHeartRadio PDF Print E-mail

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The iHeartRadio Music Festival is rolling into Vegas this weekend. But what's a festival without some rockin' after-parties featuring high-profile hosts, artist-inspired drinks and celebrity DJs? Get ready to go all day and all night, because you're invited.

Official Kick-Off Party at HAZE Nightclub, September 18

Join the hottest pre-party celebration at ARIA Resort & Casino as DJ Prostyle and DJ Scene keep the party going all night. You may even see some of your favorite stars in attendance, so keep your eyes peeled. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Must be 21 and over. Entry is $40 for men and $20 for women.

iHeartRadio Official After-Party at 1 OAK Nightclub, September 19

Watching electrifying performances by Taylor Swift, Usher, Coldplay and Motley Crue is just the beginning of your epic Friday night. Join one of iHeart's top pop artists, Ariana Grande, as she hosts the 1 OAK after-party at the Mirage and enjoy a specialty cocktail in her honor. For $17, you can sip on "The Grande Celebration," featuring Triple Sec, vodka, tequila, rum, gin and Coca-Cola. If you're feeling "Berry Fancy," channel your inner-Iggy and grab their 50 Bleu Vodka, Red Bull Blue Edition and sour mix concoction with fresh blueberries for $18. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. with the red carpet opening at midnight. Must be 21 and over. Entry is $50 for men and $30 for women.

iHeartRadio Official After-Party at HAZE Nightclub, September 19

Hold onto your Pharrell hats and high heels… There's a second official after-party for you to hit Friday night (it's just how we do). Get your music on at HAZE Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino. Special guests Nico & Vinz will host and perform their summer hit song, Am I Wrong?. Indulge in some "Trouble" — the Taylor Swift-inspired Casa Dragones Blanco, pineapple and grenadine fusion ($17) — while you rub elbows with CW stars and festival performers. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. with the red carpet opening at midnight. Must be 21 and over. Entry is $40 for men and $20 for women. HAZE will be closed to the public Saturday.

XS Nightclub with Skrillex, September 19

Are you more of an EDM and Dubstep lover? XS Nightclub at the Wynn will be your clubbing refuge. Join Grammy-winning producer and popular DJ Skrillex for a night of unforgettable pulsating beats. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Must be 21 or over. Entry for men is $30, $20 for women. Buy your tickets online.

Life Nightclub with Fatboy Slim, September 20

As the newest nightclub addition to the Strip, you can bet Life at the SLS Las Vegas has a few tricks up its sleeve for iHeartRadio weekend. Patrons have a chance to check out the funk soul brother himself, Fatboy Slim, Saturday night after the festival ends. You never knew nightclubs could get so funky. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Attendees must be 21 and over. Upscale nightlife attire required. Male pre-sale tickets are $33 and female pre-sale tickets are $22. Buy your tickets online.

LIGHT Nightclub with Krewella and Tony Arzadon, September 20

As one of the most talked about nightclubs by 2013's iHeartRadio lineup, you can bet more than a few of this year's stars will make appearances at Mandalay Bay's LIGHT. The best part (you know, besides the choreography, avant-garde costumes and visual effects) are the celebrity DJs that call Light home. Krewella and Tony Arzadon will be playing sets on the closing night of iHeartRadio, and will surely make your weekend even more memorable. Must be 21 and over. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets for men are $53.86 and $27.08 for women, available online.

--Hilary Billings is a Las Vegas local, travel blogger, video host and Miss Nevada United States 2013. She was named Las Vegas Weekly's Best Blogger for 2013. For more on Hilary, follow her on Twitter @TheNomadGrad and on Facebook!

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Taste Wisconsin from beer to brats PDF Print E-mail

Sharon McDonnell, Special for USA TODAY 8:03 a.m. EDT September 19, 2014

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It's not all cheese and beer in "America's Dairyland," even if Cheese Days, one of the nation's oldest food festivals, marks its 100th anniversary this September. Its food and drink heritage draws from its large German, Scandinavian, Swiss and Polish immigrant populations.

Beer

Beer made Milwaukee, the state's biggest city, famous, and Wisconsin boasts over 70 craft and big breweries and brew pubs. A free tour at brewery giant MillerCoors Co. tells how German immigrant Frederick Miller founded Miller Brewing Co. in Milwaukee in 1855 (Miller later merged with Coors Brewing Co., founded by a German immigrant in Colorado in 1873), and ends with generous samples at the Bavarian-style Miller Inn. At Lakefront Brewery, a microbrewery and the nation's first certified organic brewery, you can dine on sausage and cheese boards, cheese-and-wheat beer soup and beer-battered fish in its Beer Hall, while the tour ($7) includes four pours, a keepsake glass and a coupon for a free beer at many Milwaukee spots.

Bratwurst

Over 75 types of sausage are sold at Usinger's, a family-owned meat market founded in Milwaukee in 1880 by a German immigrant, from bratwurst and smoked Polish sausage to little links of pork sausage. (Recipes for a sausage/sauerkraut skillet dinner, cassoulet with pork, chicken and sausage, and more meals are on its website). But the "Bratwurst Capital of America" is Sheboygan, 55 miles north, settled by Germans in the 1860s, where Miesfeld's Meat Market sells 400+ meat items and 50 bratwurst varieties, plus house-made BBQ sauces.

Cheese

Over 600 types of cheese and other dairy products are produced in Wisconsin – more than any other state – including award-winners like Carr Valley Cheese in La Valle, who scored eight first- and second-place awards in the 2014 American Cheese Society competition. Cheese Days celebrate the Swiss heritage, dairy farming and cheese-making tradition of southwest Wisconsin -- begun by Swiss immigrants in 1846 -- on September 19-21 in downtown Monroe. A parade led by cows decked in bells and flower wreaths -- just like in Switzerland, when brought down from the mountains in grazing season -- yodeling, Alphorn-playing, a cow-milking contest, tastes of 50 different cheeses – plus treats like gourmet grilled cheese, Limburger cheese sliders and cheesecake – dancing, Swiss choirs and children's activities are on the agenda.

SEE MORE: Chase the Wisconsin cheese trail

Cherries

Tart Montmorency cherries are served in many ways in Door County, a peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan and the nation's fourth-biggest cherry producer. Cherry pie – fresh-baked, fruit-heavy, made with four cups of cherries, sweetened with all-fruit jam – is the most popular choice at Sweetie Pies, a local pie shop. Salmon, charbroiled and smothered in cherry BBQ sauce, is yummy at Alexander's, a fine-dining restaurant. Cherry jam, salsa, vinaigrette, chocolates and wine are sold at Orchard Country Winery & Market – and you can pick your own cherries. (All are in Fish Creek.) Sip cherry wheat beer at Shipwrecked Restaurant, Brew Pub & Inn, a B&B (a bed'n brew with eight rooms) in Egg Harbor.

Fish

A "fish boil" in Door County is a legacy of 19th-century Swedish and Norwegian settlers who cooked fish over a wood fire. Today, after chunks of whitefish and potatoes are cooked in a huge cauldron over a bonfire outdoors, kerosene tossed on the flames creates a dramatic conflagration, and makes the fish oils boil over. The fish is served with butter, lemon, cole slaw and home-made bread at White Gull Inn, a 1896 white clapboard inn in the suitably-named Fish Creek, four nights a week May-October, and Friday nights in other seasons. A "Fish Fry," seen on Friday night menus state-wide, means beer-battered, deep-fried perch, walleye, cod or haddock, with sides of cole slaw and potatoes or potato pancakes, and recalls brewery-owned taverns frequented by Germans and Poles. Norwegian fish specialties, like herring and lutefisk, are found in towns with big Norwegian populations, like Stoughton.

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10Best: Amazing American wildlife watching PDF Print E-mail

Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY 7:55 a.m. EDT September 19, 2014

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Humpback whales are often seen near the Farallon Islands, Calif., about 30 miles west of San Francisco.(Photo: WWF)

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Have all those TV nature shows inspired you to see the real thing? With just a little planning, travelers can quite easily make their way to wildlife hotspots, says Jim Sano, a vice president with the World Wildlife Fund. "If you get on a trail and walk a mile or so, the likelihood of seeing wildlife goes up dramatically," he says. And don't be shy about talking to park and refuge rangers. They know their area the best, and can share where animals are likely to be found. Sano, a former National Park Service naturalist, shares some top places to see animals in the wild with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.

Katmai Peninsula
Alaska
Travelers can get remarkably close to black bears and grizzlies in this corner of southeast Alaska. "Bears are a flagship species," Sano says. But it's necessary to time your visit to the salmon runs, because the bears are drawn to streams to catch the fish. "That will stack the deck so that you'll see an iconic wildlife scene." 907-246-3305; nps.gov/katm/index.htm

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Cambridge, Md.
Bald eagles abound at this 27,000-acre preserve on Maryland's Eastern Shore, which boasts the largest breeding populations of the raptors on the East Coast north of Florida. The property is also a major wintering area for migrating birds and as many as 50,000 geese, ducks and tundra swans stop over during October and November. There are also whitetail and sika deer, and the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel. 410-228-2677; fws.gov/blackwater

Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming and Montana
With the largest concentration of animals in the Lower 48 states, it's so easy to see animals at this national park that you sometimes don't need to leave your car. But Sano suggests parking and hiking for just a mile or so. Yellowstone's bounty includes bear, deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, lynx and wolverines. 307-344-7381; nps.gov/yell

Farallon Islands
California
This Pacific island group about 30 miles west of San Francisco teems with sea life, including great white sharks and orcas. "We were just out there and we were surrounded by humpback whales for three hours and they were sticking their heads out of the water just a few feet away," Sano says. 415-561-6625; farallones.org

Glacier National Park
Montana
Along with stellar scenery, this park is known for its bighorn sheep population. "I've seen them from the road," Sano says. The park service counts 66 different types of mammals, of all sizes, including grizzlies, lynx, cougar and elk. 406-888-7800; nps.gov/glac

Captain Cook National Monument
Kona, Hawaii
Just offshore of a monument honoring famed British explorer Captain James Cook, wildlife lovers will find incredible sea life. "It's like swimming in an aquarium. There's sea kayaking in that area, and spinner dolphins. You can almost count on (seeing them)," Sano says. "It is at the top of my list as a marine experience accessible to the average person." hawaiistateparks.org

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
Kansas
Visit in mid-September to see thousands of monarch butterflies on their annual migration across the continent to Mexico. A few weeks later the same butterflies can be seen winging their way across Texas. "It's a natural wonder, totally amazing," Sano says. Other migration paths follow the East and West coasts. During the refuge's Monarch Mania, scheduled for Sept. 20, visitors can catch, tag and release the colorful insects and see others in an enclosed pavilion. 620-486-2393; fws.gov/refuge/quivira/

Everglades National Park
Florida
Visitors will have no trouble spotting alligators at this vast southern Florida preserve. The reptiles are easily spotted from the short Anhinga Trail at the Royal Palm Visitors Center. But there's much more to see in the vast wetlands and swamps. "If you can get out in a boat and into the park, your chances of seeing a more varied array of wildlife and birdlife are far greater," Sano says. 305-242-7700; nps.gov/ever

Moosehead Lake
Maine
While moose are found all across Maine, the state's biggest lake is thick with the majestic mammals. Regular moose tours and private moose safaris take visitors by van or canoe into the great North Woods to see the animals in their own habitat. The creatures can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and stand nearly seven feet tall. 888-876-2778; mooseheadlake.org

Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge
California
For wildlife with wings, it's hard to beat this preserve in far northeast California, a stopping point for 80% of the birds migrating along the Pacific flyway. "There can be at any time one million birds in the refuge. It's quite stunning and a place most people have never heard about," Sano says. Refuge visitors include several species of Canada geese, which spend the summer in the Arctic. fws.gov/refuge/tule_lake

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Fantasy camps: Get a taste of a different life PDF Print E-mail

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Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean that camps aren't still going strong – for adults, anyway. Throughout the USA, camps are available to make just about any of your dreams come true, from car racing to rocking out to wine tasting and so much more. Who says adults can't be happy campers, too?

Start Your Engines

Dream Racing's two-day Ready to Race experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway puts drivers behind the wheel of a race-ready Ferrari 430 GT, or if they'd rather, a McLaren, Lamborghini, or Porsche. Over the course of the program, campers will attend briefings and training, culminating in a 30-lap race.

NASCAR fans can go on the rides of their lives during the Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp in Charlotte, N.C. Three full days are spent exploring the heart of NASCAR country, including meeting NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Dale Inman, VIP treatment in a luxury trackside suite at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 Spring Cup Series, and getting behind the wheel themselves at local tracks.

Step into the Spotlight

Imagine it: At the very moment the spotlight shines, you tear into a guitar solo for the ages. Off to your side, one of the greatest of all time joins in – Dave Navarro or Slash, to name a few. Or you belt out a powerful rock ballad, harmonizing with the likes of Steven Tyler, Gene Simmons, Joe Walsh and more. No, you aren't dreaming – you're at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. Throw on your leather jackets and grab the hair spray – you're ready to rock!

Rather camp like a star than perform? Exit stage left to the Shooting Star RV Resort near Utah's Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Settle into an Airstream – decorated a la "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Some Like It Hot," "Viva Las Vegas," or "Breakfast at Tiffany's" – and let Mother Nature do the performing, with 360-degree views of the Grand Staircase, the Escalante Mountains and Dixie National Forest.

Make the Team

Loads of pro sports teams host fantasy camps, giving diehard fans the chance to take to the field alongside their favorite players. Among Major League Baseball teams are the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, LA Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and scores of others. Football fans can hit the gridiron with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, to name a few.

Dreamt of being an Olympic athlete, but didn't quite make the cut? You can still train like one at a handful of camps around the country. USA Luge Fantasy Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., is led by a team of national coaches and Olympic medal winners, including 1998 silver medalist Gordy Sheer. The USA Basketball Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas combines hardcore training with the best coaching, all to prepare campers for a championship game. Swimmers go for the gold at USA Swimming Fantasy Camps in Colorado Springs, led by the world's top swimming coaches. Olympic gold medalists are there too, to share their tips and experiences with campers.

If wearing the Tour de France's yellow jersey has been a lifelong dream, join the peloton via the XD Cycling Camps with George Hincapie in South Carolina. Led by former pro-cyclist George Hincapie, who himself completed 17 Tours de France and five Olympic Games, cyclists wind their ways through the challenging, picturesque climbs of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Riders live like elite cyclists over the five-day camps, complete with massage therapy, gourmet meals and nightly training group discussions.

Perfect your swing with the best at ANNIKA Academy in Orlando, founded by Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam. During the three-day "Soren-Slam," golfers receive pointers from Annika, as well as her swing and fitness coaches, and tee up with the 10-time major champion on the greens.

Ready to hit the slopes? Sign up for Fantasy Ski Camp at Four Seasons Jackson Hole. The six-night camp features skiing in the backcountry, off the back of the tram and in Grand Teton National Park. One-on-one time with Teton Gravity Research Athlete and Exum Mountain guides will amp up your technique to make the most of your time out on the powder.

Take mountain climbing to the next level – ice climbing. Chicks with Picks' Sampler Women's Ice Climbing Clinic fills three days with technical skills sessions and loads of climbing at Ouray Ice Park in Ouray, Colo., known as the "Switzerland of America." All of the groups' clinics are perfect for climbers of all skill levels.

Tempt Your Tastebuds

Have your cake – or, rather, pie – and eat it, too, at Upper Crust, a delicious pie and cookie camp in western Montana. Over the course of three days, "pie whisperer" Kate McDermott and James Beard 2012 Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Country Mindy Segal share their secrets to making sweet and savory treats. New York Times photographer Andrew Scrivani is on hand, too, to lead campers through lessons in food photography.

Oenophiles, or anyone who enjoys a nice glass of wine, will want to take note of the Adult Wine Camp in the Sierra Foothills and the Sonoma County Grape Camp. In addition to tastings and pairings, campers get their hands dirty in the vineyards, stomp grapes and blend their own wines, toasting to a better understanding of the wine-making process.

Adventure is Calling…

Channel your inner-Indiana Jones and work side by side with paleontologists during the Mammoth Site Excavation & Preservation Program in South Dakota. For two weeks, campers unearth fossils, from the tiniest fragments to the largest mammoths.

If Jack Bauer is more your speed, MissionX's one- and two-day adventures may appeal to you. Making their U.S. debut in Georgia this fall and led by special ops teams (think Delta Force and British SAS), these adventures push campers to their limits, from escaping a three-story building to finding their ways out of submerged cars and many more harrowing scenarios.

For even more adventure, get into the wild and learn how to survive during a course with the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in New York's Catskills, Yosemite National Park and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. What's more, it can be a family affair – learn useful life and outdoor skills that are useful in everyday life. Activities may include river crossing, fire building, water purification, building emergency shelters, rope skills and much more. Go ahead, get wild.

… Not That You Have to Answer

For some, simply getting away and setting their own schedules is a dream come true. The Creative Me Time Retreat in California's central coast provides visitors just that – the freedom to do as they choose, from hiking and reading, to taking a creative class or indulging in a much-needed nap. The options are endless ... or not.

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